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Russian champions Spartak edge Akhmat

Moscow (AFP) – Russian champions Spartak Moscow claimed a 2-1 win at Akhmat Grozny on Friday, as substitute Lorenzo Melgarejo scored the winner.

Captain Denis Glushakov gave the visitors an early lead, and although Brazilian Rodolfo equalised from the penalty spot for Akhmat, Paraguayan Melgarejo grabbed all three points just four minutes after coming off the bench.

Spartak move up to fifth in the Russian Premier League table, eight points adrift of early leaders Zenit St Petersburg, ahead of their Champions League match against Sevilla on Tuesday.

The champions have now won back-to-back league games for the first time this term, and are on a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

“We played a good game. We spared no effort tonight and were completely concentrated throughout,” said Spartak coach Massimo Carrera.

“It was a very hard game but everything is possible when we come onto the pitch with such a desire and selflessness.”

Spartak, who had won their last three meetings with the Chechen club, were given the lead on the half-hour mark by Glushakov after a one-two with Quincy Promes.

Rodolfo pulled the scores level in the 71st minute after Serdar Tasci brought down Bernard Berisha.

But Melgarejo restored the visitors’ lead just a minute later when he tapped home Luiz Adriano’s cross.

“We’ve botched up the first half completely,” Akhmat coach Oleg Kononov said. “After the break we looked much better but it wasn’t enough to break Spartak’s resistance.”

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