Zenit buck losing streak
Reigning Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg bucked their two-match losing streak with a confident 3-0 away win over Sarank on Friday.
The Saint Petersburg side now sit atop the league table with 16 points from seven matches, three points ahead of the second-placed Terek Grozny, who play Rubin at Kazan on Saturday.
Zenit took the lead through Konstantin Zyryanov, who headed home Vladimir Bystrov's right-handed cross from close range in the 25th minute.
Russian international striker Alexander Kerzhakov, making his comeback from injury, scored Zenit's second nine minutes after the interval with a lob over Sarank goalkeeper David Yurchenko.
Kerzhakov rounded off the scoring in the 63rd minute, firing the ball into the net past a helpless Yurchenko from 12 metres after some fine individual skill.
"Today we played really well," said Zenit manager Luciano Spalletti.
"We were in control of play from the start and throughout the entire match. I'd like to thank (Alexander) Kerzhakov, who performed excellently today right after his recovery from an injury."