Zenit on top despite goalless home draw

09 March 2014 05:17

Three-time champions Zenit St Petersburg secured sole possession of top spot in the Russian Premier League on Sunday despite a goalless draw at home to Tomsk.

Zenit have 41 points from 20 matches, but are just one point ahead of Lokomotiv Moscow, who take on Samara on Monday.

Spartak Moscow lost ground on Saturday after a 1-0 loss at relegation-threatened Terek Grozny to sit third with 39 points.

Zenit dominated play in the first half, keeping Tomsk under constant pressure but lacked accuracy up front.

After the break manager Luciano Spalletti threw caution to the wind and poured three forwards -- Brazilian Hulk, Russia's Alexander Kerzhakov and Venezuelan Salomon Rondon -- into attack but to no avail as the guests defended in numbers.

"We failed to show our normal style and were too slow and too predictable tonight," Spalletti said. "I consider the draw to be the fairest and most logical result."

Meanwhile, Dynamo Moscow battled back from two goals down to beat city rivals CSKA 4-2 to move closer to the leading trio.

The Red Army side took the lead in the 13th minute through Ivory Coast striker Seydou Doumbia, who fired home from the edge of the box after a piece of good individual work.

The 26-year-old Doumbia gave CSKA a comfortable 2-0 lead two minutes before the break scoring his 11th goal of the season with an unopposed 10-metre shot.

Dynamo German forward Kevin Kuranyi reduced arrears three minutes after the break scoring with an eight-metre header from Yury Zhirkov's cross from the left.

Christopher Samba's equaliser in the 59th minute was almost a carbon copy of Kuranyi's goal as the Rebublic of Congo international defender also sent the ball into the net with a close-range header.

Dynamo continued testing the CSKA defence and in the 62nd minute Zhirkov netted the winner firing under the crossbar from six yards out following a defensive mix-up.

In the 69th minute Zhirkov rounded off the scoring after CSKA goalie Igor Akinfeyev schoolboy's error in the area.

"We played good before the break but two annoying mistakes allowed CSKA to get back," Dynamo manager Dan Petrescu said.

"I didn't expect we could come back, but luckily my guys didn't surrender and we scored three goals early after the break and win."

Source: AFP