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Goal.com looks at the crowning moments of Zenit's cruise to the Russian championship.

Zenit St. Petersburg crossed the finish line to win the Russian Rosgosstrakh championship for the second time since its creation with two games to spare, thumping Rostov 5-0 in front of their home fans at the Petrovsky Stadium.

Vladimir Bystrov was the key to unlocking the Don river club, creating three goals in the second half after CSKA Moscow suffered a late equaliser against Spartak Nalchik. Word spread quickly across the stadium that the Moscovites had surrendered their lead, building extra incentive. The result allowed the Petrograders to celebrate in style.

Luciano Spalletti reassured the club that he hasn't had anyone try to lure him away from Zenit, despite rumours in the Russian press, and he will remain in the 'Venice of the North'.

Spalletti has commanded the respect of his players quickly and the results on the field have been nothing short of remarkable, going close to breaking two records in his first season.

Goal.com takes a look at the defining moments of the Golubye's season.

Round 2

Zenit were given a confidence boost against Spartak Moscow as they faced defeat in their first home game of the season. Brazilian Welliton gave the visitors a first half lead but defender Nicolas Lombaerts equalised with a late header for a share of the points.



Round 7

Zenit took CSKA Moscow to the sword with a fine display in the Russian capital, winning 2-0. A sensational solo goal from Aleksandr Kerzhakov sealing the first sign that Zenit were capable of something special this season.



Round 8

Again it was defender Nicolas Lombaerts who saved the day against Saturn Moscow Oblast with two minutes remaining. Saturn were reduced to 10 men early in the game but Zenit couldn't find a way through until late on.


Round 11

Konstantin Zyryanov saved the Golubye's blushes with another late goal against relegation candidates Anzhi.

Round 17

Quick thinking by Danny got Zenit off to the perfect start against Lokomotiv Moscow and Spalletti and co. went on to a comfortable 3-0 win, keeping up their fine form in the capital.


Round 26

Zenit proved they would be worthy champions with a stunning comeback from 2-0 down inside the opening 10 minutes. Danny again at the forefront of the blues best moves.



Round 28

Zenit lift the trophy and the fans go wild on the pitch to join Tsar Spalletti and the players in their celebrations after hammering Rostov. Fans not only enjoyed a small riot with militia but also took as much of the goal nets, posts and grass as they could as the Petrograders prepare to move to their new stadium.



" I dedicate [the Championship] to St. Petersburg and the fans. From the outset, they let me work here comfortably, I felt the warm attitude of the people, that they are good to me and love me. And because the city gave me warmth, it was easier for me to work in "Zenit". And I remember trips like the one in the Cup against Rostov, where all sectors of the stadium were filled with our flowers, and I understand that people spent more than two days on the train or on the road! And so I must dedicate this victory to them! And then, of course, I can not forget the assistants, the doctors, those whom I call 'the invisible team', who allowed us to always have everything at hand, including this," Spalletti told Championat.ru.

Sadly the first team to suffer the fate of first division football is Sibir Novosibirsk, despite a valiant effort against Lokomotiv Moscow. Lokomotiv could have won the game easily but failed to take their chances. Dmitri Sychev giving 'Loko' the lead but Sibir equalised late on. A point wasn't enough for the Eagles, as teams above them continued to collect valuable points in the dogfight for survival.

Weekend Results

Saturn 2-2 Amkar
Tomsk 1-1 Alania
Terek 1-3 Anzhi
Dinamo 2-2 Rubin
Nalchik 1-1 CSKA
Zenit 5-0 Rostov
Lokomotiv 1-1 Sibir
Spartak 0-0 Krylya

RPL Standings (Games played/Points)

Zenit (28/66) CH.LGE (CHAMPIONS)
CSKA (28/58) CH.LGE
Rubin (28/56) CH.LGE QF
Spartak (28/48) EPL
Nalchik (28/44) EPL
Lokomotiv (28/44)
Dinamo (28/39)
Rostov (28/34)
Terek (28/32)
Tom (28/31)
Anzhi (28/30)

Saturn (28/30)
Krylya (28/27)
Amkar (28/26)
Alania (28/26) REL
Sibir (28/19) REL
(RELEGATED)


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