Zenit beat FK Moscow 1-0 to close in on Russian title

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MOSCOW, Nov 3 (Reuters) Zenit St Petersburg beat FK Moscow 1-0 in the penultimate round of the Russian Premier League today to stay firmly on track for their first title in nearly a quarter of a century.

Russia captain Andrei Arshavin fired home from close range midway through the first half to give Zenit their ninth victory in the last 10 league matches.

The win kept Dick Advocaat's team two points ahead of second-placed Spartak Moscow, who crushed bottom club Rostov 3-0 to maintain their slim title hopes alive.

Zenit, who won their first and only league title in the old Soviet Union in 1984, can clinch first place by beating mid-table Saturn Ramenskoye next Sunday.

Ukraine midfielder Maxim Kalinichenko, Brazilian striker Wellinton and Russian winger Denis Boyarintsev scored for Spartak, who host city rivals Dynamo in the season's finale.

If both Zenit and Spartak end up equal on points, then the Moscow club would be declared champions thanks to the better head-to-head record.

Outgoing champions CSKA Moscow beat lowly Kuban Krasnodar 1-0 to move into third place, a point ahead of FK Moscow.

CSKA, however, are certain to finish outside of the top two for the first time in six years as they stayed six points behind arch-rivals Spartak.

REUTERS RJ MSJ RAI2322

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