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Football | Europe

Hulk © Gallo Images

CSKA hold Zenit behind closed doors



Leaders CSKA Moscow needed a late penalty from Rasmus Elm to snatch a 1-1 draw at Zenit St Petersburg in a high-profile Russian Premier League match played behind closed doors on Monday.

Zenit defender Renat Yanbayev put the champions ahead early in the second half when his low shot sneaked past CSKA keeper Igor Akinfeyev into the far corner.

Swedish midfielder Elm equalised from the spot five minutes from time.

The match was played at an empty arena after Zenit's last game, away to Dynamo Moscow last weekend, was abandoned when the Dynamo goalkeeper was injured from firecrackers thrown by fans.

Anton Shunin suffered burns to his cornea in both eyes and some loss of hearing.

The Russian FA awarded Dynamo a 3-0 win, ordered Zenit to play their next two home games behind closed doors and fined each club 500 000 roubles ($16 000). Zenit's appeal will be heard on Thursday.

"It was awful, just terrible," said CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky, referring to the match deprived of any spectators.

"It didn't look like a normal official match, more like a training game," he told Russian television NTV Plus.

"As for the match itself, I guess you can say we were lucky to get a point as we struggled to hold on to the ball."

Despite dominating for most of the match, Zenit failed to snap their three-game winless streak and remained in third place, six points behind CSKA.

Second-placed Anzhi Makhachkala closed the gap on the leaders with a 2-1 win at Amkar Perm earlier in the day.

Russia under-23 international Oleg Shatov struck a last-gasp winner for Guus Hiddink's team as the wealthy club from the volatile North Caucasus region now trail CSKA by three points.

"It was a tough game against a very determined opponent but we were able to regroup after the break and played much better in the second half," said former Russia boss Hiddink.

Meanwhile, Dynamo coped well without Shunin on Sunday when they crushed city rivals Spartak 5-1, the defeat costing Spartak's Spanish coach Unai Emery his job.

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