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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Title Contenders Take Russian Race to Wire

Zenit St. Petersburg came from behind to crush FK Khimki 4-1 Sunday to stay in the running for its first Russian league title in nearly a quarter of a century.

Khimki captain Andrei Tikhonov put the visitors ahead with a 20th-minute penalty, but Zenit hit back with two goals by Pavel Pogrebnyak and fellow Russian international Konstantin Zyryanov before the interval.

Belgium defender Nicolas Lombaerts and Turkey striker Fatih Tekke added two more in the second half for the St. Petersburg side, who now head Spartak Moscow at the top of the premier league on goal difference. Zenit's for-and-against record is just one better than that of Spartak. Both clubs have 52 points from 27 matches.

Spartak beat city rivals FK Moscow 3-1 in a heated derby Saturday to put the pressure on Zenit, who won their first and only league title in the old Soviet Union in 1984.

FK Moscow stayed third, six points behind the leading duo with three games remaining.

Last year's champion CSKA Moscow closed the gap on FK Moscow to two points with a hard-earned 1-0 win at Tom Tomsk.

In other weekend games, Lokomotiv drew 1-1 at home to Luch-Energia; Amkar Perm were held to the same score by visiting Spartak Nalchik; lowly Krylya Sovietov had a rare 3-0 home win over Rubin Kazan; and Rostov, already doomed to last place in the table, lost 3-1 at home to an improving FK Saturn side, which is in fifth place.