Moscow (AFP) – Finland international midfielder Roman Eremenko scored the only goal as champions CSKA Moscow squeezed past promoted Tomsk in the Russian Premier League on Saturday.
The away win lifted CSKA top of the Premier League table, one point ahead of city rivals Spartak, who visit Anzhi Makhachkala on Sunday.
Zenit St Petersburg, who outscored Amkar Perm 3-0, sit third, one point further back.
The Red Army club, who celebrated their 105th anniversary on Saturday, came to Tomsk without injured striker Lacina Traore but dominated from the start.
CSKA’s Sweden midfielder Pontus Wernbloom had his goal disallowed on 40 minutes before Igor Akinfeev produced an impressive save to deny a freekick by Tomsk’s Romanian playmaker Eric Bicfalvi.
Eremenko scored CSKA’s decisive goal nine minutes after the break off a rebound after Tomsk goalie Anton Kochenkov parried a powerful shot by Alan Dzagoev from 35 yards out.
“It was a very difficult game and a very hard win for us,” CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky said.
“I’m confident that any of the league teams would experience serious problems against Tomsk at home.”
Elsewhere, Zenit St Petersburg, third last season, beat visitors Amkar 3-0, to go third.
Brazilian midfielder Victor Giuliano scored a brace in 10 minutes in the opening period, and Italian left back Domenico Criscito rounded off the scoring with just a minute to go.