Spartak beat Anzhi to continue chasing Zenit
Russia's most decorated club Spartak Moscow continued their pursuit of Premier League leaders Zenit St Petersburg with a 1-0 win at Anzhi Makhachkala on Sunday.
Nine-time former champions Spartak remain second on 27 points, just five behind Zenit while another Moscow side Lokomotiv, who play Amkar Perm on Monday, sit third on 24 points.
Spartak looked slightly more focused from the kick-off and Armenian international forward Yura Movsisyan gave them the lead in the 28th minute when he fired home the rebound after goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov saved Aiden McGeady's initial shot from 12 yards out.
After the break Anzhi dominated but failed to muster an equaliser.
Despite the victory, Spartak manager Valery Karpin expressed his disappointment with the team's performance.
"I'm pleased with the result but not with our performance today," he said. "Definitely it was our worst match this season.
"We lost control at the beginning of the second half and failed to wrestle back the initiative in the remaining time. We were very lucky today."
Meanwhile, another Moscow club Dynamo battled back from a goal down to beat nine-man visitors Kuban Krasnodar 3-1 to move up to fifth.
After a goalless first half Kuban's Senegalese forward Ibrahima Balde lifted his side 1-0 up with a header from Bulgarian Ivelin Popov's cross in the 50th minute.
But Dynamo pulled level eight minutes later through Ukrainian forward Andrei Voronin, who escaped the offside trap from Alexander Kokorin's pass before sending the ball home from a tight angle.
Defender Vladimir Granat put Dynamo ahead in the 62nd minute, firing home from a corner.
A few minutes later Kuban midfielder Arsen Khubulov was sent off for rough play.
Dynamo's German striker Kevin Kuranyi rounded off the scoring from a precise spotkick with six minutes to go, while Kuban substitute David Tsoraev was also sent off in the 87th minute, just a minute after his introduction.
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