Nalchik and Zenit win to stay top
Spartak Nalchik and Zenit St Petersburg both scraped 1-0 wins over Dynamo Moscow and Ramenskoye respectively to remain joint top of the Russian Premier League on Sunday.
After eight games Spartak and Zenit both have 18 points, one ahead of third-placed CSKA Moscow, who beat Tomsk 3-1.
Nikita Malyarov was the hero for Nalchik, the midfielder latching on to Vladimir Dyadyun's inch perfect pass to score a 65th-minute winner from the edge of the box.
Dynamo were playing their first match under new coach Miodrag Bozovic of Montenegro, and despite launching a series of attacks their search for an equaliser proved fruitless.
Despite their win, Nalchik manager Yury Krasnozhan was left disappointed. "We didn't play as well we normally do," Krasnozhan said. "Dynamo played very well and managed to shut down all of our attacks in the first half. After the break we created some chances, and scored, but we still need to improve."
Zenit St Petersburg were in complete command at Ramenskoye stadium, pinning the hosts back right from kick-off. And they were given an extra-man boost in the 25th minute when goalkeeper Artyom Rebrov was sent off for handball outside of his area.
Ramenskoye defended in numbers and kept a clean sheet before the break, but Zenit piled on the pressure after the interval and were finally rewarded two minutes from time when Belgian defender Nicolas Lombaerts headed home from six yards.
CSKA Moscow, third ahead of this weekend's round of matches, were trailing 1-0 after Tomsk midfielder Alexander Kharitonov beat 'keeper Igor Akinfeyev with a 35-metre shot on 16 minutes.
The Red Army side levelled through Milos Krasic just five minutes later, the Serbian winger sweeping in a rebound after a well-struck freekick by Japanese teammate Keisuke Honda. After the break Brazilian striker Guilherme put the result beyond all doubt with a brace of goals to make it 3-1 for the Moscow side.