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Zenit go top in Russia with victory

Zenit St. Petersburg moved three points clear atop the Russian Premier League on Thursday with a 3-1 win over Spartak Nalchik, who drop to second. Elsewhere, Rubin Kazan scored a 1-0 home win while CSKA Moscow lost by the same score at Rostov.

Zenit and Nalchik came into the day level on 18 points, and the match seemed headed for a stalemate.

But in the 65th minute, Vladimir Bystrov broke the deadlock with his third goal of the season to put Zenit 1-0 to the good.

Six minutes later, Roman Shirokov doubled the advantage from the penalty spot, and Danny's goal in the 75th minute quickly had it 3-0 in favor of the home side.

Nalchik pulled one back through Nikita Malyarov in stoppage time, but it was far too little too late.

CSKA Moscow remained in third place despite their loss on the road.

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