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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Panov Slays Spartak to Leave on High Note

Zenit St. Petersburg forward Alexander Panov marked his departure to French club Saint-Etienne on Friday by spearheading a 2-1 defeat of Spartak Moscow at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Panov scored the opener in the 14th minute and went on to set up the winner for Alexander Gorshkov in the 61st.

It was the reigning Premier League champion's second defeat in its last three matches. Spartak coach Oleg Romantsev stuck to his habit of not attending post-match news conferences, and it was left to Vyacheslav Grozny, Romantsev's assistant, to explain the defeat: "It was Spartak's worst match this season so far. We, the coaches, are to blame, as we gathered the players at the training camp only a day before the game."

Panov was substituted in the 80th minute and was given a rousing farewell from both sets of fans, who stood to applaud the forward as he ran off the pitch.

Despite the loss, Spartak stayed top, five points clear of second-placed Anzhi and Lokomotiv Moscow in third.

Anzhi stopped Saturn's three-game winning streak courtesy of a 2-0 victory at home. Narvik Sirkhayev and Alexei Gudkov were the scorers.

Lokomotiv Moscow, which at the start of the season was regarded as Spartak's main challenger in the race for the title, halted its alarming run of five games without victory with a 1-0 home victory over lowly Alania Vladikavkaz.

Yet again, free-kick specialist Dmitry Loskov was the crucial difference for Lokomotiv, whose forwards had been unable to break the deadlock throughout the first half. Dmitry Bulykin had twice wasted good chances, and Zaza Dzhanashiya's luck yielded no better.

With Loko's strikers struggling, Loskov stepped in to show his teammates how to score, a clinical free kick leaving Alania keeper Veniamin Mandrykin helpless to act just after the break. That goal proved to be the only goal of the game.

It also turned out to be the last goal scored at Lokomotiv Stadium this season, as it has now been been closed for reconstruction. Saturn's ground in Ramenskoye, some 30 kilometers from Moscow, will be Loko's home soil for the remainder of the season.

While Lokomotiv managed to halt its five-match losing streak, the number five also proved special for Dynamo Moscow's Rolan Gusev, who f following another goal against Lokomotiv Nizhny Novgorod in Moscow on Friday f has scored in each of his last five appearances. His total account this season reached seven goals as Dynamo routed Lokomotiv 3-0, Gusev scoring his goal in the dying seconds.

Another Premier League club shamed itself before its own spectators by losing 3-0. Krylya Sovietov could not hold out against the in-form Rostselmash attackers and the strength of Dmitry Kirichenko, who became the fourth player in the league this season to score a hat trick.

In Voronezh, Torpedo Moscow recovered from being down one goal in the second half against Fakel. Dmitry Vyazmikin and Igor Semshov ensured a 2-1 victory for the Moscow side.