As the RPL splits into two groups to decide the big winners and losers (although all points carry over from the initial 30 rounds), the top two dropped points to allow Moscow’s big two, Spartak and Dynamo, to close the gap. At the bottom, sorry Tomsk are cut further adrift while Perm were the biggest movers as they inched further away from danger.
CSKA 1 – 2 RUBIN KAZAN
Rubin raided the result of the group, closing the gap between themselves and Lokomotiv in the chase for Europa League qualification – but more importantly, it saw the Armymen miss yet another opportunity to reel-in Zenit.
This is a recurring theme this season and things started badly for CSKA as Alan Kasaev put Rubin ahead after 16 minutes. Jinking inside Pavel Mamaev, who didn’t do nearly enough to keep the Rubin man off his stronger right foot, Kasaev found the bottom corner with ease. CSKA’s man of the season, top-scorer Seydou Doumbia, brought the Armymen level on 36 minutes from the penalty spot after Ansaldi was deemed to have bundled Mamaev over.
Sergei Ignashevich, the CSKA centre-back, is the usual penalty taker so it was a surprise to see the Ivorian take on the responsibility. However, already the RPL top-scorer by eight clear goals, Doumbia is clearly now gunning for the all-time RPL haul of 25, set by Rotor Volgograd’s Oleg Veretennikov back in 1995, something that with 13 more games to play he should smash.
Yet in the rush to rewrite the record books Doumbia then wasted a second penalty – even more dubiously awarded - for the home team on 55 minutes. His initial “Panenka” found the net but he was ordered to retake it and he skied the second kick.
That miss proved pivotal as Rubin plundered all three points as Ryazantsev’s speculative drive somehow bounced past Gabulov who, still filling-in for the injured Akinfeev, once again cost CSKA crucial points in the race for first place, the title and Champions League football.
ZENIT ST. PETERSBURG 0 – 0 ANZHI MAKHACHKALA
Gabulov’s gaffe and Doumbia’s haste were set in starker contrast as Zenit dropped points at home to Samuel Eto’o's Anzhi.
The game was notable for the return of Vladimir Bystrov, Zenit’s flying winger who’s hated by the team’s hardcore fans for his spell at bitter rivals Spartak Moscow, as well as Anzhi’s Mbark Boussoufa collecting two yellow cards within a minute to receive one of the RPL’s fastest ever dismissals.
The usually clinical Zenit were persistently wasteful. By contrast Anzhi, spurred on by a bumper 1,500 away crowd, kept home goalkeeper, Malafeev busy all night and he took much credit for earning the league-leaders a point as well as their continued position atop the division.
SPARTAK MOSCOW 2 – 0 LOKOMOTIV MOSCOW
The derby day fixture featured another two goals for Spartak’s Emmanuel Emenike, after bagging a hat-trick against Loko the last time the sides met just three weeks ago. Clearly the Nigerian favours Loko as opponents as five of his eight RPL goals have come at their expense.
Dmitry Kombarov’s lovely pass released Emenike who lifted the ball expertly passed Guilherme for the opener on 26 minutes.
Parshivlyuk then raided from right-back into the box and, showing great feet, helped the ball to Emenike who showed his strength to hold off the Loko defence before finding the top corner to seal the game before half-time.
And Emenike might have had another hat-trick but Kirill Kombarov’s cross-shot later on was neither one nor the other while Emenike himself missed a one-on-one with Guilherme.
DYNAMO MOSCOW 2 – 1 KUBAN KRASNODAR
Dynamo’s skipper, Igor Semshov is in the scoring form of his career – with 11 in 26 appearances this season – meaning his team are still very much in the hunt for the title, something they have not won since 1976.
And the midfielder opened the scoring after 19 minutes as Misimovic’s delightful chip sent him free to steer in a volley. Andrey Kokorin, who’d earlier hit a post, doubled the lead by lashing home a loose ball, courtesy of Samedov’s free-kick, on 27 minutes.
Kuban rallied somewhat in the second 45 and Bugaev pulled one back after 59 minutes, owing much to Shunin’s howler in nets.
|1||ZENIT ST. PETERSBURG||31||17||11||3||59||25||+34||62|
ROSTOV 3 – 1 TOM TOMSK
Poor old Tomsk continued their wretched form as they plummeted to another defeat despite taking the lead via a dodgy Kanunnikov penalty after 22 minutes – and that was while they were down to ten men, having had Stroyev dismissed after just 15 minutes.
But Tomsk self-destructed and lost another man as Nitinskiy was sent off for a second yellow after 53 minutes and then gave away a penalty for Adamov to equalise on 56 minutes.
Papadopulos then scrambled one in on 70 minutes before Adamov put the home team out of sight with two minutes to play.
VOLGA NIZHNY NOVGOROD 1 – 2 AMKAR PERM
Amkar moved a place up the table and away from danger courtesy of goals from Grishin and Burmistrov, within a minute of each other on the hour mark, to overturn an early Belozerov goal for Volga.
FC KRASNODAR 3 – 2 SPARTAK NALCHIK
This goal-fest saw Krasnodar head into half-time 2-1 up thanks to Movsisyan – a drilled finish from a long ball – and Eugene Shipitsin – a classic midfielder-arriving-late-in-the-box finish. Krasnodar had bossed it but Dzhudovich halved the deficit on 41 minutes with a brave header.
Nalchik’s promising youngster Arsen Goshokov wriggled into the box to rifle passed the goalkeeper and bring Nalchik level after 56 minutes, but Abreu won it for the home side with a tap-in on 79 minutes after the keeper parried Martsavaladze’s long range effort.
Dzhudovic then collected a second yellow in injury time to compound Nalchik’s woes.
TEREK GROZNY 0 – 0 KRYLIYA SOVETOV SAMARA
|13||VOLGA NIZHNY NOVGOROD||31||8||4||19||25||42||−17||28|
|14||KRYLIYA SOVETOV SAMARA||31||6||10||15||21||43||−22||28|