Venezuelan striker Jose Salomon Rondon scored twice as Rubin Kazan dismantled ten-man FC Rostov in a 4-0 away thrashing.
Rubin rise to sixth in the Russian Premier League with the win, going within five points of leaders Anzhi and dropping champions Zenit St. Petersburg down to seventh. Rostov stay 13th in the 16-team division.
Dominant play from the visitors meant they controlled the match throughout and ruled out any chance of Rostov celebrating their city being named a World Cup 2018 host city Saturday with a win on the pitch.
Rondon’s first goal of the game came in controversial circumstances on 17 minutes when he headed a cross from Turkish teammate Gokdeniz Karadeniz at goal.
Rostov goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa scooped the ball away, but the referee ruled it had crossed the line. Subsequent television replays appeared indecisive.
The Venezuelan’s second came 14 minutes later when he picked up Roman Eremenko’s 30-yard lob over the top and hit a bouncing shot from near the penalty spot that took a deflection from defender Inel Getigezhev’s foot on its way into the net.
Eight minutes into the second half, Rostov’s Czech defender Kornel Salata was shown the red card when he brought down Rondon with a challenge from behind that the referee ruled had denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity.
Italian defender Salvatore Bocchetti made it 3-0 when he scored for the second time in consecutive league games with a header at a corner.
Substitute striker Vladimir Dyadyun polished the scoreline with his second goal of the season, both scored deep into second-half stoppage time.
Rostov coach Miodrag Bozovic was complimentary of his Rubin counterpart Kurban Berdyev in defeat.
“I think they’ve got a very good quality coach, so they win like that,” he said in televised comments.
Rondon missed an opportunity for a hat-trick soon after his second goal when he picked up the ball in the six-yard box in front of an empty net but fumbled his first touch and the ball was put behind for a corner.
The Venezuela regular has now scored three times in six games since joining Rubin from Spanish side Malaga last month.
Rostov’s chances were few and far between, with an early long-range effort from Vladimir Kisenkov and occasional speculative attempts by Alexandru Gatcan the most they could muster.
The hosts’ two recent high-profile signings, Tottenham Hotspur loanee David Bentley and ex-Liverpool forward Florent Sinama-Pongolle, had little impact on the game.
Earlier Sunday, Samuel Eto’o and Lacina Traore fired Anzhi to the top of the league in a 2-1 home win over FC Volga, taking advantage of championship rivals CSKA Moscow’s earlier 2-0 derby defeat to Dynamo Moscow.
On Saturday, Spartak Moscow snatched a comeback 3-1 win at Amkar Perm, while late stunning goal by Armenian winger Aras Ozbiliz secured a 2-1 home victory for FC Kuban against Terek Grozny.
Zenit St. Petersburg and Lokomotiv Moscow drew 1-1 Saturday in a bad-tempered game that saw both sides lose a player to a red card.
Krylya Sovetov face Krasnodar on Monday, before Mordovia Saransk host Alania Vladikavkaz in a battle between the two newly promoted sides.