Zenit stay on top, Anzhi edge CSKA
Defending champions Zenit St Petersburg went into the Russian Premiership winter break at the top of the table following a 2-1 home win over Lokomotiv Moscow.
Zenit have 65 points from 32 matches and stay six points ahead of second-placed CSKA Moscow, who suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Anzhi at Makhachkala with Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o scoring the winning goal. Dynamo Moscow, who suffered a 2-0 defeat at Rubin Kazan yesterday, are third on 58 points.
Zenit squandered a 20th-minute chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty. Lokomotiv goalkeeper Guilherme brought down Danko Lazoviz but Viktor Faizulin had his shot saved with the Brazilian goalkeeper further redeeming himself by blocking a rebound attempt by Roman Shirokov.
However, in the 26th minute Zenit's Portuguese midfielder Miguel Danny scored from close range after Guilherme failed to stop Lazovic's razor-sharp cross from the right into the six-yard box. Five minutes later veteran midfielder Sergei Semak made it 2-0 with a ten-metre shot following an error by Lokomotiv's Magomed Ozdoev.
Midfielder Denis Glushakov reduced the arrears with a 25-metre screamer six minutes remaining before the break. Lokomotiv's Portuguese full-back Manuel Da Costa missed the last chance to salvage a point when his header went just inches past the right-hand post.
"It's very pleasant to finish the long domestic season in the first place," Zenit captain Alexander Anyukov said. "It was a very tough match with equal chances for both teams but it was Zenit who converted chances into goals. We deservedly won."
Eto'o lifts Anzhi
At Makhachkala, the hosts took the lead through Shamil Lakhiyalov who scored from an Eto'o pass. CSKA levelled two minutes later when Brazilian forward Vagner Love fired home from Seydou Doumbia's precise feeder.
But it was Eto'o who netted Anzhi's winning goal in the last minute with a precise spot-kick awarded after CSKA goalkeeper Sergei Chepchugov was sent off for fouling Yury Zhirkov in the box.