An early strike from Lacina Traore proved enough for Anzhi to grab a 1-0 win away to Alania Vladikavkaz in a tense Caucasus derby on Monday.
After winning a cagey game that was the complete opposite of their 5-2 rout of FC Krasnodar last week, Anzhi go second in the Russian Premier League and are now one point behind leaders CSKA Moscow after nine games.
Guus Hiddink's Anzhi are now five games unbeaten with four straight wins, while 13th-placed Anzhi have not won in four games and remain four points above the relegation zone.
"It's a very difficult place to play, they play with a lot of emotion," Hiddink said.
"We managed to get an early goal and from there it was a good game for us."
Traore scored the winner after seven minutes of the first half, latching onto a through ball from Joao Carlos to get in behind the Alania defense and strike a powerful left-footed shot past goalkeeper Dmitry Khomich.
Alania had chances to win the game and hit the woodwork twice, first when Danilo Neco seized on a slip from Joao Carlos to take a shot at the Anzhi goal but the post denied his powerful effort.
In stoppage time, Alania’s Rudnei rose above the rest to meet Roland Gigolaev’s free-kick, but headed it forcefully against the crossbar.
On Friday, Krasnodar thrashed Mordovia Saransk 6-1 in the weekend’s opening fixture.
In Saturday’s games, Zenit St. Petersburg drew 2-2 with Krylya Sovetov, CSKA beat FC Volga 3-2 and Dynamo Moscow defeated Amkar Perm by the same score, before Lokomotiv Moscow ended Terek Grozny’s five-game winning run with a 3-0 win.
On Sunday, Spartak Moscow breezed past FC Rostov in a 3-1 win, before Rubin Kazan scraped a 1-0 win over FC Kuban.