Zenit St. Petersburg wins Russian Premier League title

Zenit's Artem Dzyuba, right, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Russian Premier league soccer match between FC Zenit and Krylia Sovetov Samara at Gazprom arena stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 26, 2020. (Dmitri Lovetsky/AP)

KRASNODAR, Russia — Zenit St. Petersburg has won the Russian Premier League title with four games to spare in a season extended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Zenit beat third-place FC Krasnodar 4-2 on Sunday to move 13 points clear of Lokomotiv Moscow, which is second and can win a maximum 12 more points.

Zenit retained the title it won last year and now matches CSKA Moscow with six overall. Only Spartak Moscow has won more Russian titles with 10.

Iranian forward Sardar Azmoun gave Zenit the lead with a fifth-minute goal before Daniil Utkin levelled for Krasnodar. A penalty by league top scorer Artyom Dzyuba restored Zenit’s lead but Utkin answered again just after the break for 2-2.

Azmoun soon scored Zenit’s third goal of the game and Alexei Sutormin extended the lead to secure the win.

Zenit has won all four of its games since the Russian league resumed last month amid the coronavirus pandemic. The season was suspended in mid-March and resumed June with only a limited number of spectators allowed in the stadiums.

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