Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Russia: Zenit and CSKA lose ground in title race

Posted in European Football by peterbein on November 20, 2011

The business end of the 2011-12 Russian Premier League season began this weekend with the sixteen teams split into two groups of eight. In recent seasons the league would’ve concluded after thirty rounds of matches but due to the changing of the league season from a spring-autumn season to an autumn-spring timetable from the 2012-13 season another fourteen rounds of matches are necessary in order to decide championship and relegation matters this time around.

Zenit Saint Petersburg topped the table after 30 matches of the ‘regular’ season and still remain top following the first round of matches in the “Championship Group” with 62 points despite only drawing 0-0 at home to Anzhi Makhachkala on Friday night. This gave nearest challengers CSKA Moscow a great opportunity to move level on points with Zenit but they blew their chance losing 2-1 at home to 2009 & 2010 champions Rubin Kazan. Third place Dinamo Moscow kept up the pressure on the top two with a 2-1 home win against Kuban Krasnodar moving them to within four points of the league leaders whilst the biggest game of the weekend came on Sunday with Spartak Moscow winning the capital city derby against Lokomotiv by 2-0 thanks to a brace from Emmanuel Emenike, allowing Spartak to move six points behind Zenit in fourth place.


In the “Relegation Group” cellar dwellers Tom Tomsk lost 3-1 away to FK Rostov and thus remain rooted to last place with a measly 20 points to show from their 31 matches so far. At the top of the group are FK Krasnodar following their 3-2 home win against Spartak Nalchik, the result preserving Krasnodar’s six point margin over Rostov at the top. Nalchik, along with Tom Tomsk, have the most to worry about as things stand with those two teams occupying the two automatic relegation places. In the other two matches this weekend Amkar Perm gained a crucial 2-1 win away at FK Volga in Nizhny Novgorod whilst Terek Grozny and Krylia Sovetov Samara shared the spoils following a dire goalless stalemate.


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