CSKA Moscow fails to narrow gap with Zenit
MOSCOW (AP) — CSKA Moscow lost 1-0 to capital city rival Dynamo Moscow on Sunday, missing a chance to pressure Russian Premier League leader Zenit St. Petersburg.
Zenit had looked vulnerable after losing 3-1 to Terek Grozny on Saturday — the St. Petersburg club’s first league defeat of the season — but remains seven points ahead after CSKA failed to take advantage.
Alexander Kokorin’s close-range strike on 54 minutes gave Dynamo the win.
Earlier, Dynamo’s Mathieu Valbuena had seen his 45th-minute penalty saved by CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky criticized the referee, suggesting that controversy over penalties given to his club in previous matches — seven in 12 league games — meant that officials had become unwilling to favor CSKA.
“Judging by the hysteria over the seven penalties we scored earlier, we probably won’t get another penalty for several years,” Slutsky told local media. He also cast doubt on Russian referees’ “moral stability.”
CSKA stays second but is now just one point ahead of a chasing pack of three teams headed by third-placed FC Krasnodar.
The victory ends a run of three league games without a win for Dynamo, which is sixth, three points off CSKA with a game in hand.
On Saturday, Brazilian striker Ailton scored twice for Chechen team Terek, which sits fourth after beating Zenit.
Zenit has now lost its last three home matches in all competitions, with the loss to Terek following a Russian Cup defeat to Arsenal Tula and Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League loss to Bayer Leverkusen.
In other results, FC Krasnodar went third Sunday with a 2-0 win over ninth-placed Rubin Kazan. Sergei Petrov and Ricardo Laborde scored the goals.
FC Kuban is fifth after beating relegation-threatened Ural Yekaterinburg on Friday. Under-pressure Spartak Moscow coach Murat Yakin saw his team achieve its first league win for almost two months Sunday, rising to eighth with a 2-0 win over last-placed Arsenal Tula.