Rostov falls short as CSKA wins Russian Premier League

© Maxim Bogodviig
CSKA Moscow beat Rubin Kazan to claim the win they needed to become Russian Premier League champions.

The Moscow club won 1-0 away in Kazan, meaning they finish the season on 65 points – two ahead of second-placed FC Rostov, who won their last game of the season 2-0 away at Terek.

Rostov went into the last round of fixtures eyeing what would have been a massive upset, knowing that if they won and CSKA failed to beat Rubin, they would be champions.

However, in a thrilling game, CSKA earned the win they needed at the Kazan Arena thanks to a first-half goal from Alan Dzagoev. 

The Russian midfielder struck on 19 minutes and CSKA then held on for victory.

Rubin created chances to equalize, with CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev pulling off a brilliant double save five minutes from time.

Rubin also saw a first-half effort disallowed for offside and hit the crossbar from a free-kick.

However, in the end CSKA held on to clinch their third title win in four seasons.

Rostov did what they needed to by claiming a 2-0 win at Terek, courtesy of a 30th-minute strike from Ecuadorian international Christian Naboa and a 51st minute goal from Aleksandr Yerokhin.

But it was not enough to give Rostov – the team dubbed the ‘Russian Leicester’ for their unlikely success this season – the title, as they were relying on a slip-up from CSKA that did not materialize.

Rostov finish the season second, which means they qualify for the Champions League qualifying rounds next season.

READ MORE: A tale of two underdogs: Rostov, aka ‘Leicester-on-Don,’ take Russian Premier League by storm

For CSKA, their victory means they reclaim from Zenit St. Petersburg the title they last won in the 2013-14 season, and means coach Leonid Slutsky – also the Russian national team manager – will go into this summer’s Euro 2016 championships with a third league title under his belt.

Speaking after the game, Slutsky told Match TV: “I’m proud to work at this club with these players and fans… We created a home atmosphere here.”

Elsewhere, Dynamo Moscow were relegated from the top flight for the first time in their 93-year history.

Dynamo failed to gain the win they needed against Zenit, going down to a 3-0 home defeat, with results elsewhere going against them to mean they drop to the second tier.

Zenit will represent Russia in next season's Europa League, along with Krasnodar and Spartak Moscow.

Anzhi and Kuban will face lower league sides Volgar and Tom respectively in relegation/promotion playoffs to be held on May 24 and 27.  

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