Zenit close in on leaders CSKA
Champions Zenit St Petersburg closed in on Russian Premier League leaders CSKA Moscow with a 2-0 win over their title rivals today. Despite the home defeat the Red Army side remained top of the table with 41 point from 19 matches, two points ahead of Zenit. Dynamo Moscow, who suffered a 3-1 defeat at Kuban Krasnodar, stay third on 35 points.
Zenit looked slightly more focused from the start and even managed to score in the 27th minute but the champions' goal was ruled offside. After the interval Zenit went ahead in the 54th minute when Russian international striker Alexander Kerzhakov sent the ball home with a 12-metre header from Italian teammate Domenico Criscito's left-handed cross.
Just a minute later Zenit skipper Alexander Anyukov added a second when he fired into the net from just inside the box from Portuguese midfielder Miguel Danny's razor-sharp pass. CSKA poured into attack trying to reduce the arrears and created several chances but failed to change the scoreline.
"It was a beautiful match between two strong opponents," Zenit manager Luciano Spalletti said. "Kerzhakov's goal turned fortune our way. We didn't hold the initiative throughout the match but we played with power and character. Today we won deservedly."
Meanwhile, Anzhi Mahachkala won 2-0 at home against Tomsk to lift themselves into fourth place. Alexander Prudnikov put Anzhi ahead after 17 minutes, and midfielder Makhach Gadzhiev added a second with seven minutes remaining.