CSKA Moscow beat Zenit for first time in four years

CSKA Moscow beat Zenit Saint Petersburg for the first time since 2014. (AFP pic)

MOSCOW: Fyodor Chalov and Arnór Sigurðsson scored to steer CSKA Moscow to a first victory over Russian Premier League leaders Zenit Saint Petersburg since March 2014 with a 2-0 win on Sunday.

Despite a second defeat in four league games Zenit remain top of the table, five points clear of second-placed Krasnodar, who saw off bottom club Yenisei Krasnoyarsk 3-0.

CSKA started the better and top goalscorer Chalov put them into the lead after a quarter of an hour, converting his ninth of the season thanks to a pinpoint pass by Ilzat Akhmetov.

Sigurðsson added a second 11 minutes later when he converted Chalov’s cross to give CSKA a comfortable lead at half-time.

After the break Zenit moved up a gear, but to no avail as CSKA defended well to beat their opponents for the first time since a 1-0 league victory over four-and-a-half years ago.

“We planned to play as aggressive as possible. and it worked out pretty well as we scored two goals before the break,” CSKA coach Viktor Goncharenko said.

“In the second half we held off Zenit’s attacks, but I think we deservedly won.”

Krasnodar dominated Yenisei but had to wait until the hour mark to break the deadlock when Yury Gazinsky fired the ball home.

Sweden forward Viktor Claesson scored 10 minutes later, heading the ball in from Brazilian Ari’s pass.

Charles Kaboré rounded off the scoring with a 27-metre screamer to claim his opening goal of the campaign with five minutes to go.

“It was much harder to win today than the scoreline indicates,” Krasnodar coach Murad Musayev said.

“Yenisei sat back from the start and it was very difficult to battle through their defence. After we opened the scoring Yenisei went on the attack trying to level but we got the space that we needed to score more goals.”

Elsewhere, reigning champions Lokomotiv Moscow dropped league points for the first time since September as Yuri Semin’s side were held to a goalless draw at Rubin Kazan.