Kazan crush champions Zenit
Russian Premier League leaders Kazan managed to finish their winless streak, beating reigning champions Zenit St Petersburg 4-1 on Sunday to stay top of the table. Zenit had two players sent off during the match.
Kazan have 33 points from 17 matches, two points ahead of second-placed Dynamo Moscow. Perm and Spartak Moscow share the third spot both on 28 points.
Forward Alexander Bukharov put Kazan into the lead in the ninth minute, beating Zenit goalie Vyacheslav Malafeyev with a nine-metre header from Turkish teammate Karadeniz Gokdeniz's short cross.
Three minutes later former Ukrainian international striker Sergei Rebrov made it 2-0 for Kazan, also scoring with an unopposed 10-metre header from Alexander Ryazantsev's cross.
Zenit skipper Anatoly Tymoshchuk reduced the arrears when a penalty was awarded against Kazan keeper Gokdeniz in the 23rd minute, making it 2-1 at half-time. On the 72nd minute, Bukharov netted his second of the match.
Zenit's French defender Sebastien Puygrenier, who came on as a substitute after the break, was sent off just after 12 minutes on the pitch, an unfortunate start in his Russian debut for the 22 year old defender, formerly of Nancy.
Kazan late substitute Andrei Kobenko finalised the scoring in the 86th minute, lobbing the ball into the net over Malafeyev despite opposition of two Zenit defenders before Tymoshchuk and Zenit coach Dick Advocaat were sent off in injury time.
Dynamo benefit from own goal
Dynamo and Perm, who shared the second place ahead of this weekend, battled at Dynamo stadium in the capital. The hosts won 1-0 due to an own goal by the guests' midfielder Mikhail Afanasiev, who mis-headed a clearance from Vladimir Granat's cross just three minutes into the match. In the remaining time Dynamo missed a handful of chances but managed to keep their lead.
Meanwhile, Russia's three-time champions CSKA Moscow came closer to the leading group following a confident 4-0 win at Ramenskoye. The Red Army side's Brazilian striker Vagner Love recorded a double in the opening half to give his team a comfortable lead and top the league's scoring table with eight goals. Midfielder Pavel Mamayev made it 3-0 five minutes after the interval, while Yevgeny Aldonin rounded off the scoring in the second minute of injury time.