MOSCOW, August 27 (R-Sport) – Defending Russian Premier League champion CSKA Moscow went to the top of the table for the first time this season after a comeback win over FC Tomsk and thanks to stumbles by their major rivals in the sixth round of league action over the weekend.
After a disappointing first half against the rock-bottom Siberian club, goals from Seydou Doumbia and Ahmed Musa brought CSKA a 2-1 victory Saturday and a place at the summit on 14 points.
"Our scheme in the first half wasn't optimal, there were lots of players cramming the midfield," CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky said after the match. "We played better from the flanks in the second half, and that's why we won."
FC Rostov, which had been the surprise table leader heading into the weekend, was demolished by Lokomotiv Moscow 5-0 in a game that saw two red cards and an inspired performance from Lokomotiv left-back Vitaly Denisov, who served three assists to Maicon, Dmitry Tarasov and Roman Pavlyuchenko.
Lokomotiv also had added help from midfielders Mbark Boussoufa and Lassana Diarra, who joined the team from Anzhi Makhachkala last week.
Both Lokomotiv and Rostov are even on 13 points, with the capital-based team sitting in second place with a better goal differential.
Another team that benefited from the Anzhi firesale of star players was Dynamo Moscow, who came within a hair’s breadth of a home win over Zenit St. Petersburg. A last-second goal by Zenit forward Alexander Kerzhakov left the teams even on 1-1.
"It's a shame, Dynamo was better," Dynamo coach Dan Petrescu said. "Dynamo scored its goal and deserved the win. Unfortunately the better team doesn't always win in football."
The fixture was notable with the return to Dynamo of Alexander Kokorin, who had a one-month spell with Anzhi before leaving Dagestan as part of the cull. It was also the first match for Russian international captain Igor Denisov against Zenit, his hometown team.
After the match, Denisov went to the visiting Zenit crowd to applaud their support over the years but was met by insulting chants and deafening jeers.
Meanwhile, Spartak Moscow suffered its first defeat of the season on Monday, losing 2-1 at Amkar Perm, bringing Spartak down to fourth place, which it now shares with Zenit, three points behind the leader.
As players continue leaving the team, struggling Anzhi failed to earn points once again, suffering its third straight defeat, this time 2-1 to FC Krasnodar. The match was likely the last for captain Samuel Eto’o, who will reportedly join former Anzhi teammate Willian at Chelsea.
Elsewhere, a brace by former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse propelled FC Kuban past RPL newcomers FC Ural in a 3-2 home win.
In other weekend action, Rubin Kazan played out its fourth draw in a row, sharing points with Krylya Sovetov Samara 1-1, while an amazing goal by Anton Putsila gave FC Volga a 1-0 win over Terek Grozny.
CSKA Moscow – 14 points
Lokomotiv Moscow – 13 points
FC Rostov – 13 points
Spartak Moscow – 11 points
Zenit St. Petersburg – 11 points
Amkar Perm – 9 points
FC Kuban – 9 points
Dynamo Moscow – 9 points
FC Krasnodar – 8 points
Rubin Kazan – 8 points
FC Volga – 7 points
Krylya Sovetov Samara – 6 points
Ural Yekaterinburg – 5 points
Terek Grozny – 2points
Anzhi Makhachkala – 2 points
FC Tomsk – 0 points