Spartak stun Dynamo to go joint top
Nine-time winners Spartak Moscow joined reigning Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg on top of the league table on Sunday after beating city rivals Dynamo 4-0.
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Zhano Ananidze and Rafael Carioca along with Argentinian defender Nicolas Pareja scored to ensure Spartak's third win in as many matches.
Spartak opened after 23 minutes through Bilyaletdinov, who beat Dynamo 'keeper Anton Shunin with a precise shot from just onside the box.
Four minutes after the interval Pareja added his goal, beating Shunin with a well-struck 25-metre freekick. Ananidze made it 3-0 with 15 minutes to go, as Brazilian Carioca rounded off the scoring in the third minute of injury time.
"We were in command and dictated thoughout the match," Spartak forward Artem Dzyuba said.
"Dynamo looked slightly nervous after they lost two previous matches and concentrated their forces in defence leaving plenty of space for our attacks. That was exactly what we needed."
Meanwhile, big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala took third spot with a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Amkar Perm.
Anzhi started in a lively fashion pinning the guests back fron the kick-off but failed to find the net before the 72nd minute, when midfielder Georgy Gabulov sent the ball home from seven metres on Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez's right-handed cross.
"It was a very important win," Anzhi manager Guus Hiddink said.
"Many clubs, who are playing in the Eurocups, often lose points in domestic league. Luckily we managed to play solid football today and clinch a win in these circumstances."
Earlier Samara battled back from a goal to win 2-1 win at home to Kuban Krasnodar.
Kuban midfielder David Tsoraev put his side ahead in the 22nd minute but Samara replied with the goals by Belarus forward Sergei Kornilenko and Frenchman Steeve Joseph-Reinette.