Former Blackburn defender Christopher Samba and Ivorian striker Lacina Traore both scored from set pieces to help Anzhi Makhachkala to a 2-1 win over Krylya Sovetov in the Russian Premier League on Sunday.
The victory saw the Dagestan club, fresh from qualifying for the Europa League group stage, climb to fourth with 14 points after seven games, while Krylya remain in 12th with seven points.
Zenit St. Petersburg and Terek Grozny share the lead with 16 points, the champions ahead only on goal difference.
Samba headed the opener on 26 minutes, leaping above the Krylya defense to direct Mbark Boussoufa's free kick into the far corner.
Traore doubled the advantage on 56 minutes when he met Sameul Eto'o's free kick first time to beat Sergei Veremko at his near post.
The hosts pulled one back seven minutes from time when Anzhi goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov could only palm a close-range shot into the path of Paraguay striker Pablo Zeballos, who hammered it into the bottom corner.
"They got a little bit of courage when they scored just before the end, that's true, but we a little bit sloppy with our chances in the first half," said Anzhi coach Guus Hiddink.
"If we had taken them we would have led a bit more in the score."
Krylya missed their best chance of the first half on 44 minutes when Sergey Petrov hit the side netting from two yards out, though the angle was tricky.
After failing to put up much of a fight, the late goal gave Krylya a second wind, but though they pressed admirably they were unable to convert late pressure.
Three minutes before time Krylya's French defender Steeve Joseph-Reinette was inches away connecting with a Zeballos cross.
Earlier Sunday, CSKA Moscow edged past a resilient FC Krasnodar with a 1-0 away win; and a stoppage-time goal from Armenian striker Aras Ozbiliz consigned Dan Petrescu’s Dynamo Moscow to a 2-1 home defeat to his former charges FC Kuban.
On Saturday, Terek Grozny continued their astonishing start with a 2-1 away win over 10-man Rubin Kazan thanks to a late winner from Magomed Mitrishev; and a late equalizer from striker Alexei Sapogov gave 10-man FC Volga a 1-1 draw against FC Rostov.
A 70th-minute strike from Hungarian striker Tamas Priskin saved newly promoted Alania Vladikavkaz from a home defeat against Amkar Perm, as the teams played a 1-1 draw.
In Friday's only game, Zenit secured a 3-0 away victory against newly promoted Mordovia Saransk with striker Alexander Kerzhakov bagging a brace.
Later Sunday Moscow rivals Spartak and Lokomotiv clash in the match of the day.