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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Zenit Can't Halt CSKA's Inexorable Title March

Champion CSKA Moscow moved a step closer toward retaining the title Sunday after a 1-0 win over fourth-placed Zenit St. Petersburg kept it 4 points clear of Spartak Moscow with three matches remaining.

Brazilian international midfielder Daniel Carvalho ensured CSKA didn't take its eye off the ball following the midweek exploits in the Champions League, with a controversial 58th-minute penalty after compatriot Wagner Love went down under a challenge.

The result will be a blow to Spartak Moscow, which had earlier closed the gap on CSKA to 1 point with a 3-1 win over visiting Tom. Brazilian midfielder Mozart saw his 34th-minute strike cancelled out by Valery Klimov, but the host was soon back in front as the league's top scorer, Roman Pavlyuchenko, scored with a spot kick, taking his tally to 15 goals for the season. Alexander Pavlenko made sure of the points two minutes from the end as Spartak kept alive its slim title hopes.

Third-placed Lokomotiv Moscow finally ended a five-game winless streak with a 1-0 home victory against already relegated Shinnik Yaroslavl that kept the club mathematically in the title race, 8 points behind the leaders.

At the other end of the table, the relegation battle took a decisive turn as Dynamo Moscow striker Vanderlei Derlei scored the only goal of the game as his side moved 6 points clear of the bottom two with a 1-0 win at Rubin Kazan, while city rivals Torpedo looks set to join Shinnik in the Russian second division losing 2-0 at home to the Moscow Football Club.

Luch Energia recorded a convincing 3-1 win over Amkar as Alexander Ivanov scored a goal in each half and Beslan Adinjal converted a penalty.

(Reuters, MT)