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Rubin regain top spot as CSKA slip up


MOSCOW, May 25 (RIA Novosti) - Rubin reclaimed first place in the Russian Premier League at the weekend after an easy 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow in Kazan, while Muscovites CSKA went down 1-0 to newly-promoted Kuban.

A goal early in each half from captain Sergei Semak and Turkish midfielder Gokdeniz Karadeniz had given the reigning champions a comfortable lead before two Lokomotiv players, defender Jan Durica and striker Peter Odemwingie, were sent off in the 65th and 74th minutes, respectively. However, Rubin were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority, and failed to add to their tally.

"While our opponents had all their players on the pitch we played pretty well," Rubin manager Kurban Berdiyev said at the post-match press conference. "As soon as Lokomotiv were reduced to nine men, we got worse. We'll look into the reasons."

Last week's leaders, CSKA, could have reclaimed top spot with a win over south Russian side Kuban, but the hosts earned all three points after a fine passing move set up Andrey Topchu to slot home in the 59th minute. That goal was enough to give the Krasnodar side all three points, much to the delight of the 32,000-strong crowd.

"Kuban are just like Brazil," CSKA trainer Zico joked after congratulating his side's conquerors. "Yellow and green!" he explained, referring to Kuban's colors.

A 1-0 defeat away to Dynamo Moscow means that Zenit St. Petersburg have lost three times in the last four games and remain off the pace in seventh place. Dynamo's goal came after a bad mistake by captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in the 84th minute let in Dmitry Khokhlov. Zenit manager Dick Advocaat hauled Tymoshchuk off a couple of minutes after the goal. With Tymoshchuk set to leave for Bayern Munich this summer, the episode was a sour footnote to a Zenit career that has seen the Ukrainian international lift the Russian Premier League and the UEFA Cup.

Spartak Moscow turned on the style against Urals side Amkar, one of Russia's representatives in the 2009/10 Europa League, Brazilians Alex and Welliton scoring two each as the Red and Whites ran out 5-1 winners.

Russia's representatives in the English Premier League had very different games as the season came to a close, Andrei Arshavin's Arsenal beating Stoke 4-1, while Roman Pavlyuchenko came on as a substitute for the last 15 minutes as his Tottenham Hotspur side lost 3-1 to Liverpool.

Results May 23-24

Kuban 1-0 CSKA Moscow

Dynamo Moscow 1-0 Zenit St. Petersburg

FC Moskva 2-0 Rostov

Spartak Nalchik 0-1 Krilya Sovetov

Saturn 0-0 Tom Tomsk

Spartak Moscow 5-1 Amkar

Rubin 2-0 Lokomotiv Moscow

Terek 2-0 Khimki

Table (10 games) 1.

Rubin - 21 2.

CSKA - 19 3.

Krilya Sovetov - 19 4.

FC Moskva - 19 5.

Spartak Moscow - 17 6.

Dynamo Moscow - 16 7.

Zenit St. Petersburg - 15 8.

Rostov - 14 9.

Lokomotiv - 13 10.

Terek - 12 11.

Tom Tomsk - 12 12.

Kuban - 12 13.

Amkar - 8 14.

Spartak Nalchik - 7 15.

Saturn - 7 16.

Khimki - 4

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