MOSCOW: Russian Premier League leaders Zenit St Petersburg continued their unbeaten start to the season under Roberto Mancini with a 1-0 win at Amkar Perm on Sunday.
Alexander Kokorin's goal gave Zenit a hardfought win, which keeps them top of the early table, three points clear of Lokomotiv Moscow, who beat champions and city rivals Spartak 4-3 on Saturday.
Rostov, who drew 0-0 with Krasnodar, sit third, two points further back.
Zenit, who suffered a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their Europa League play-off at Dutch side Utrecht in midweek, looked rusty in the first half and struggled to create many chances.
After the interval, Zenit moved up a gear though and Kokorin turned in Dmitry Poloz's pass just after the hour mark to score his sixth goal of the season.
"It was a hard match," said Zenit coach Mancini. "In the first half Amkar played really well, while we obviously lacked speed and concentration.
"During the break I asked my players to move faster and it paid off."
Dynamo Moscow, who returned to the top flight after a year in the second division, played out a 1-1 draw with Ufa in Sunday's other match.
Dynamo midfielder Alexander Zotov cancelled out Czech midfielder Ondrej Vanek's 45th-minute opener in the capital.
"We wasted too many chances," Dynamo head coach Yury Kalitvintsev said. "We have no excuse for that.
"I'm disappointed both with the result and today's performance."
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