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Zenit win to boost Champions League hopes

Moscow (AFP) – Zenit St Petersburg gave their hopes of reaching next season’s Champions League a major boost with a 2-0 win at bottom club Tomsk on Monday.

Midfielder Oleg Shatov and skipper Danny both scored to give Zenit a well-deserved win which lifted them into second, eight points behind the league leaders Spartak Moscow with four games left.

Reigning champions CSKA Moscow, who lost 2-1 to Spartak on Sunday, sit third, two points further back. Only the top two qualify for next season’s Champions League.

“There are still four matches ahead of us and every point is precious,” said veteran Zenit coach Mircea Lucescu.

Zenit dominated from the start and went in front 10 minutes before the break when Russian international winger Shatov latched onto a Giuliano pass and finished past Alexander Melikhov in the Tomsk goal.

Shatov then combined with Artem Dzyuba before cutting the ball back for Danny to make it 2-0 with seven minutes to go.

“We just need to win all of the remaining matches to earn a place in the Champions League,” said Brazilian midfielder Giuliano. “This is our main goal now.”

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