Zenit drop points, Anzhi win
Reigning champions Zenit St Petersburg failed to extend their winning streak in the domestic league, as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Rubin Kazan.
Zenit remain top of the Russian Premiership, however, with 71 points from 36 matches, seven points ahead of the second-placed CSKA Moscow. Lokomotiv, meanwhile, sit in third on 63 points.
Despite the draw, Zenit manager Luciano Spalletti said he was pleased with his side. "We played well against Rubin, who are very strong opponents," he said. "I'm pleased with my team's performance. We were just a bit unlucky in the moment when Rubin equalised but in general we played very good tonight."
Zenit started well, keeping the Rubin defence under constant pressure with some lively play. Hungarian midfielder Szabolcs Huszti finally broke the deadlock in the 36th minute, putting the hosts 1-0 up from inside the area after receiving Roman Shirokov's free-kick.
I'm pleased with my team's performance.
After the break, Rubin poured forward in attack, looking for an equaliser, and in the 58th minute Paraguayan forward Nelson Valdez levelled. The striker sent the ball into the net from close range despite the physical attentions of Zenit defender Sergei Semak.
"We started poorly and conceded a goal which we shouldn't have and allowed Zenit to score," Rubin coach Kurban Berdyev said afterwards. "But after the break we played much better, created a set of chances, and saved the day. I think the draw is a fair result."
Meanwhile, Dutch coach Guus Hiddink clinched his second win in the Russian league with Anzhi Makhachkala, beating Kuban Krasnodar 2-0 to climb up to sixth spot.
Anzhi dominated proceedings from the start and Uzbek midfielder Odil Akhmedov scored the opening goal just before the hour mark, firing the ball into the net with a header from a Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez cross.
Moroccan midfielder Mbark Boussoufa doubled the score with ten minutes to go to secure Anzhi a well deserved win.
In other matches, nine-time Russian champions Spartak Moscow recorded their first win since the league resumed after the winter break by beating their city rivals Dynama Moscow 3-1.
Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike put Spartak ahead in the 30th minute, but Dynamo winger Alexander Samedov levelled just before the break. Dynamo's Equadorian midfielder Chistisan Noboa restored Spartak's lead as he sent the ball into his own net with 20 minutes to go, and Brazilian forward Ari finished the scoring in injury time.