MOSCOW — Zenit St. Petersburg scored two late goals to beat Rubin Kazan 3-1 on Monday and avoid dropping further off the pace in the Russian Premier League.
Oleg Shatov's early goal gave Zenit a lead that lasted until 72 minutes, when Diniyar Bilyaletdinov leveled the score for Rubin off a cross from former Zenit man Maxim Kanunnikov.
Zenit responded quickly, taking back the lead four minutes later when Hulk scored an elegant long-range lob, before Shatov made sure of the three points with his second goal of the game on 84 minutes.
That result leaves reigning champion Zenit in second place, while Rubin is 14th after its fifth loss from six games.
Zenit is three points off league leader CSKA Moscow, which extended its winning start to the season to six games Saturday with a 2-1 win over FC Rostov.
Iranian forward Serdar Azmoun gave Rostov the lead on 10 minutes before CSKA responded with second-half goals from Ahmed Musa and Alan Dzagoev.
After the final whistle, Rostov midfielder Guelor Kanga was alleged to have shown an insulting gesture to the referee and now faces a ban of up to four games.
CSKA avoided injuries ahead of its crucial Champions League qualifier Wednesday at home to Sporting Lisbon, which leads 2-1 after the first leg last week.
In other Russian Premier League action, Lokomotiv Moscow remains third after a routine 3-0 win over FC Ufa on Sunday, while Spartak Moscow is fourth following its 3-1 victory against Amkar Perm.
A difficult start to the season continued Friday for seventh-placed Dynamo Moscow, which drew 1-1 away to Chechnya's Terek Grozny and saw star striker Alexander Kokorin given a straight red card. Kokorin, who has been linked with Manchester United by British media, scored Dynamo's only goal but was sent off on 48 minutes for headbutting Terek's Adilson Warken.
Elsewhere, Anzhi Makhachkala drew 1-1 with Ural Yekaterinburg on Saturday, while Sunday saw Krylya Sovetov Samara beat Kuban Krasnodar 3-0 and a goalless draw between FC Krasnodar and Mordovia Saransk.