Zenit remain top but Rubin close gap
Russian Premier League leaders Zenit St Petersburg remained top of the table on Monday despite being held to a goalless draw at Grozny.
Zenit, with two games in hand, are now on 47 points from 19 matches, four points ahead of second-placed reigning champions Rubin Kazan, who scraped to a hard-fought 1-0 win at Makhachkala. CSKA Mosow, who grabbed a 1-0 win over underdogs Novosibirsk, sit third on 39 points also with two games in hand.
Terek Grozny and Zenit were both ultra-cautious in the opening half trying to avoid any possibility of a threat to their net, serving up a dose of dull football for the local supporters.
After the interval the hosts upped the tempo and created a set of serious threats late on but failed to break the deadlock, leaving Zenit still the only unbeaten team in the league.
"Terek were playing very good on their home turf," Zenit coach Lusiano Spalletti said. "They looked very motivated and were battling for the win from the first to the very last minute. We did not win but I'm pleased with my team's performance. We looked very good today."
Defending champions Rubin extended their unbeaten streak to six matches with a narrow win at Makhachkala. The hosts and Rubin looked evenly matched throughout and created only a handful of unimpressive scoring chances.
That is until Rubin's Turkish striker Karadeniz Gokdeniz became the hero of the match when scoring the winning goal in the second minute of injury time beating the hosts goalkeeper Ilya Abayev with a well-struck freekick.
Meanwhile, CSKA dominated minnows Novosibirsk from the start but to no immediate avail as they lacked the killer instinct in front of the visitors' net. But in the 74th minute the side from the capital managed to score their winning goal through Nigerian striker Oliseh Sekou, who sent the ball home with a header from Brazilian teammate Vagner Love's pass.