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    CSKA keep slim title hopes alive by beating leaders Zenit

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    CSKA Moscow thumped Russian Premier League champions-in-waiting Zenit St. Petersburg 3-1 but the Red Army side still need a stunning run of results to bring the title back to Moscow.

    CSKA Moscow thumped Russian Premier League champions-in-waiting Zenit St. Petersburg 3-1 but the Red Army side still need a stunning run of results to bring the title back to Moscow.

    Thursday night's victory leaves the Muscovites six points behind the leaders with just three games to play, but moves them two points above reigning champions Rubin Kazan in second place, which brings a place in the Champions League next season.

    The visitors opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Vagner Love, who has seven goals in 13 league games since returning from a loan spell in his native Brazil in August. CSKA have now won all six games in which the Brazilian forward has scored.

    Mark Gonzalez doubled his side's lead 20 minutes later and Seydou Doumbia put CSKA 3-0 ahead after 52 minutes. Zenit's consolation, through Italian Alessandro Rosina, came in the second minute of injury time.

    CSKA are now unbeaten since a 1-0 loss to Lokomotiv Moscow in mid-September, but will need to win their remaining three games - at Spartak Nalchik, at home to Spartak Moscow and in Perm against Amkar - to stand any chance of bringing the title to the capital for the first time since 2006.

    Zenit, who broke Moscow's near monopoly on the Russian championship in 2007, have the easier run-in, with just a tough trip to play third-placed Rubin sandwiched between home games against mid-table Rostov and struggling Krylya Sovetov. The Samara side could need points from their visit to St. Petersburg on the last day of the season if they are to keep their record as the only non-Moscow side to play in every Russian Premier League season.

    Table (27 games)

    Zenit St. Petersburg 63

    CSKA Moscow 57

    Rubin Kazan 55

    Spartak Moscow 47

    Lokomotiv Moscow 43

    Spartak Nalchik 43

    Dynamo Moscow 38

    Rostov 34

    Terek Grozny 32

    Tom Tomsk 30

    Saturn 29

    Anzhi Makhachkala 27

    Krylya Sovetov 26

    Amkar Perm 25

    Alania Vladikavkaz 25

    Sibir 18

    MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) 

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