Zenit St. Petersburg stretches Russian league lead to 4 points as CSKA Moscow slips

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MOSCOW — Zenit St. Petersburg extended its lead at the top of the Russian Premier League to four points on Sunday with a 5-0 thrashing of Mordovia Saransk.

Zenit sits four points clear of second-placed CSKA Moscow, which drew with FC Ufa 3-3 earlier.

The St. Petersburg side was quiet in the first half at home to Mordovia, but destroyed the visitors after the break with five goals in 20 minutes.

Hulk, Alexander Kerzhakov, Axel Witsel and Miguel Danny all got on the scoresheet for Zenit, while Mordovia midfielder Ruslan Nakhushev scored an own goal.

Defending champion CSKA struggled to defend against relegation-threatened Ufa, only leaving with a point after Bibras Natcho tied the game with an injury-time penalty, his second spot-kick of the game.

With a recorded attendance of just 1,600, the match at Ufa had the smallest crowd of any Russian Premier League game this season, partly due to restrictions for top-flight games.

On Saturday, FC Kuban took third place with a 0-0 draw against Torpedo Moscow. However, Dynamo Moscow can retake third with a win over Rubin Kazan on Monday.

Spartak Moscow's coach Murat Yakin remains under pressure with his team a disappointing seventh following a 1-1 draw with capital city rival Lokomotiv Moscow on Sunday.

Manuel Fernandes gave Lokomotiv the lead on 84 minutes, but the Railwaymen's lead lasted just three minutes before Russia international Roman Shirokov leveled the score in a delayed debut for Spartak after injury.

Lokomotiv, in eighth, has a win and a draw in the first two games under new coach Miodrag Bozovic.

Also, Ural Yekaterinburg beat fellow relegation candidate Arsenal Tula 1-0 on Friday, while Amkar Perm edged FC Rostov 2-0 Saturday.

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