Zenit overcome Spartak to capture fifth straight title

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RPL Matchday 26
Zenit St. Petersburg 3-2 Spartak Moscow
Sunday 7 May, Gazprom Arena, St. Petersburg

Goals: Zenit – Claudinho (13), Mostovoy (40), Sergeev (90+1); Spartak – Balde (33), Promes (pen 85)
Sent off: Spartak – Duarte (75)
Man of the Match: Ivan Sergeev (Zenit)

After Rostov were beaten by Fakel day before, Zenit had one step to make to clinch another RPL title. Claudinho was awarded after his pressure on Aleksandr Selikhov, he blocked keeper and became the first scorer of the day. Meanwhile Spartak also found weakness in Zenit defense, Keita Balde left alone towards the net and scored an equalizer. The hosts brought the lead back quickly, Andrey Mostovoy got a goal with ricochet from Spartak defenders’ legs.

While trailing one goal, the Red-Whites suffered from red card, given to Alexis Duarte for tackle against Malcom. Nevertheless ten-man Spartak were close to steal champions party, Christopher Martins suffered a foul from Dmitry Chistyakov in the penalty area, and Quincy Promes equalized from penalty, which made him all-time scoring foreigner in Russian top division history with 86 goals. Zenit immediately brought fresh players from bench, both created the winning goal, Ivan Sergeev redirected the ball sent from Gustavo Mantuan.

Zenit earned 64 points and became champions with four matches left in the season having 13-point gap above CSKA. Spartak go fourth with 49 points.

Next RPL fixtures: Saturday 13 May – Khimki vs Spartak, Zenit vs Krasnodar

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