Zenit beat Ural to join Spartak on top in Russia


Moscow (AFP) – Zenit St Petersburg beat Ural Yekaterinburg 2-0 on Sunday to go level on points with Russian Premier League leaders Spartak Moscow.

Spartak kept top spot having won more games, with Zenit joining them on 22 points after maintaining their unbeaten start to the season. 

Reigning champions CSKA, who beat Ufa 1-0 on Friday, are one point behind in third.

Zenit went into a 22nd minute lead when Brazilian playmaker Giuliano passed the ball on to Oleg Shatov in the area and the Russian international fired home past Ural ‘keeper Nikolai Zabolotny.

In the 89th minute forward Alexander Kokorin found unmarked Artur Yusupov in the area and he kept his cool to send the ball into the back of the net from 10 yards out to secure Zenit’s well-deserved win.

“We’ve earned three points in a match against a very good team,” Zenit manager Mircea Lucescu said.

“In the first half we were in complete command but after the break we squandered a set of chances and allowed the hosts to put us under pressure before Yusupov scored the second goal.”

Meanwhile, promoted Orenburg chalked up their season’s first win beating visitors Tomsk 3-1 courtesy of a hat-trick by Belarus international midfielder Pavel Nekhaychik but failed to leave the relegation zone.

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