Moscow (AFP) - Spartak Moscow skipper Denis Glushakov scored the only goal as Russia's most decorated club beat nine-man Rostov 1-0 on Saturday to go top of the Premier League.
Spartak moved one point clear of reigning champions CSKA, who beat Ufa 1-0 on Friday, while Zenit St Petersburg, who visit Ural Yekaterinburg on Sunday, sit third, two points further back.
In an opening period with little in the way of goalmouth action the only noticeable event was the red card shown to Rostov left back Fedor Kudryashov in first-half injury time.
After the break Spartak moved up a gear, pinning the visitors back and in the 53rd minute Glushakov received a pinpoint pass by Fernando in the area and sent the ball home past helpless Rostov 'keeper Soslan Dzhanaev.
In the 74th minute Rostov slim hopes of saving the day went up in smoke as their Spanish full back Cesar Navas was also sent off for a second bookable offence.
Despite the victory Spartak manager Massimo Carrera said he was upset with his team's lowkey attacks.
"We've created plenty of scoring opportunities today but converted only one of them," he said.
"After we'd squandered a series of chances we were at risk of losing points in a match against a team two men down. We should be more accurate to avoid such situations in the future."
Earlier, Amkar Perm and two-time former champions Lokomotiv Moscow played out a goalless draw, which lifted the hosts Amkar, who extended their unbeaten streak to five matches, into fourth.
Two-time former champions Rubin Kazan thrashed visitors Samara 3-0 to go eighth.
Russian international forward Maxim Kanunnikov headed Rubin into a 38th minute lead while Spaniard Ruben Rochina and Brazilian Jonathas added one apiece after the break to seal Kazan's well-deserved win.