Zenit stretch perfect start to season

AFP
Zenit's Portuguese midfielder Miguel Danny (C) plays the ball during the last 16 second-leg UEFA Champions League football match Borussia Dortmund vs Zenit St Petersburg in Dortmund, western Germany on March 19, 2014
Zenit's Portuguese midfielder Miguel Danny (C) plays the ball during the last 16 second-leg UEFA Champions League football match Borussia Dortmund vs Zenit St Petersburg in Dortmund, western Germany on March 19, 2014 (AFP Photo/Patrik Stollarz)

Moscow (AFP) - Zenit St Petersburg scored an impressive 2-1 win away at Ural Yekaterinburg on Wednesday to stay top of the Russian Premier League on goal difference.

Having cracked in 14 goals in their first three games, Zenit have a clear advantage over last year's champions CSKA Moscow, who are level on nine points from three games after their 1-0 home win over Terek Grozny.

Zenit, runners-up last time out, had Portuguese midfielder Miguel Danny and Venezuelan striker Jose Salomon Rondon to thank for their success, which extended their 100 percent start to the season.

Meanwhile, Serbian international midfielder Zoran Tosic set CSKA on their way to victory.

Zenit got off to a lively start when Danny put them 1-0 up with a shot from the edge of the area in the fifth minute.

Ural's Chilean skipper Gerson Acevedo capitalised on a defensive error to lob the equaliser over 'keeper Yury Lodygin in the 36th minute.

But Zenit moved up a gear in the second half and in the 74th minute Rondon scored the winner, firing home from seven metres from Hulk's cross.

"Today we have not played really well as a team and we paid the price as we had serious difficulties in scoring the second goal," Zenit manager Andre Villas-Boas said.

"After we scored the second we made certain changes to get some more stability and to control the game."

Meanwhile, former Manchester United midfielder Tosic was CSKA's hero as he netted the Red Army side's winner, converting Ivory Coast forward Seydou Doumbia's pinpoint pass into the area.

But CSKA head coach Leonid Slutsky reserved his warmest praise for goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev, who produced two impressive saves late in the game.

"It was a difficult match and a very hard win," he said.

"We experienced personnel problems from the season's start and today we obviously lacked freshness.

"We shall thank Igor (Akinfeyev) for his saves in the second half that helped us to win."

In Wednesday's other match, Dynamo Moscow beat promoted Ufa 2-0 away with both goals created by their new signing, French midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.

Congo star Christopher Samba put Dynamo 1-0 up in the 31st minute with a header from a well-struck free kick by Valbuena, while German forward Kevin Kuranyi scored Dynamo's second just after the hour from the 29-year-old Frenchman's corner.