Champions CSKA thrash Lokomotiv in Moscow derby to keep heat on leaders Spartak
Goals from Alan Dzagoev, Vitinho, Aleksandr Golovin and Bibras Natkho - all coming in under an hour - cut Spartak’s lead at the top to seven points ahead of the derby between the two on Sunday.
Second-placed CSKA went into the all-Moscow affair with city rivals Lokomotiv at the VEB Arena trailing Spartak by ten points after Spartak’s 1-0 win over FC Ural on Tuesday night.
That result meant only victory would suffice if the CSKA - nicknamed the ‘Army Men’ - were to mount any serious defence of their Russian Premier League title.
Dzagoev opened the scoring with a brilliantly worked goal on eleven minutes, slotting the ball through the legs of Brazilian-born Russian keeper Guilherme after clever work from Vitinho on the left flank.
Vitinho then turned scorer on 39 minutes to double CSKA’s advantage and then six minutes later Golovin made sure CSKA went into the break leading 3-0. Natkho then rounded off the rout with a strike on 52 minutes.
The result means Spartak lead the RFPL on 57 pts ahead of CSKA in second with 50 pts and Zenit in third with 49 pts.
Spartak need just three more wins from the last five league games remaining in the 2016/17 season, and secure what would be their first league title since 2001.