27.11.2017 21:23 h

Lokomotiv stay top in Russia as Zenit fall

A last-ditch goal by Peru star Jefferson Farfan fired Lokomotiv Moscow to a 2-1 win at bottom club SKA Khabarovsk on Monday and extended their lead at top of the Russian Premier League to six points.

Midfielder Farfan shot home the rebound from his own penalty to stretch Lokomotiv's lead over Zenit St Petersburg, who suffered a 3-1 defeat at 10-man Spartak Moscow in another game that saw late drama.

Third-placed CSKA Moscow are one point behind Roberto Mancini's Zenit after a 1-0 win at Rubin Kazan on Sunday.

Lokomotiv started well on their long trip to Khabarovsk, which lies close to the Chinese border in the Russian Far East.

They went ahead in the 15th minute when Farfan fired home from close range with the help of a deflection off Alexander Cherevko, who was credited with the own goal.

However the hosts levelled two minutes later through Vitaly Fedotov, who hammered home the rebound after his initial shot was blocked.

After the break Lokomotiv continued to test the SKA defence but poor finishing and a great display from SKA goalkeeper Alexander Dovbnya kept the scores level until the final seconds of stoppage time, when Farfan was brought down in the penalty area and a spot-kick was awarded.

Dovbnya almost saved the day, getting a hand to Farfan's penalty, but the Peruvian fired home the rebound to snatch victory.

Zenit lost ground after falling to reigning champions Spartak, who extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

"It was a very emotional match," Spartak's Italian coach Massimo Carrera said. "Today we played our normal football and took our chances. I'm very pleased with my team's commitment."

Spartak, spurred on by a capacity 44,000 home crowd at Otkrytie Arena, dominated from the start and almost took the lead in the 15th minute when Luiz Adriano scored but saw his goal ruled out for offside.

However the hosts struck four minutes later when Alexander Samedov headed home Dmitry Kombarov's cross from the left, and Luiz Adriano made it two on the half-hour, collecting a back-heel pass from Ze Luis and crashing home a shot from just outside the area.

Zenit skipper Domenico Criscito halved the deficit 10 minutes before the break with a powerful shot that sailed past a sea of legs into the goal.

A nervy second half for the hosts was made worse when they were reduced to 10 men in the 85th minute, thanks to Brazilian Fernando being sent off for his second bookable offence.

But Zenit failed to capitalise on their numerical superiority, and Spartak substitute Mario Pasalic sealed the three points in the eighth minute of stoppage time, leaving them fourth in the table.

"The game was very hard," Mancini said. "But the result was unfair. We dominated the play completely after Spartak scored their second but managed to convert only one of our numerous chances."

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