The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Hulk double as Zenit St Petersburg sinks Torpedo Moscow 8-1 for early lead of Russian league
MOSCOW - Hulk scored twice as Zenit St Petersburg underlined its Russian Premier League title credentials with an 8-1 thrashing of Torpedo Moscow on Saturday.
The emphatic win sends Zenit provisionally top of the table after two games of the new season, level on points with defending champion CSKA Moscow, which beat Mordovia Saransk 1-0 earlier Saturday.
As well as the double for Brazil striker Hulk, Zenit coach Andre Villas-Boas saw his other strikers Jose Rondon and Alexander Kerzhakov score two goals each.
Also on target for the hosts were full back Igor Smolnikov and midfielder Oleg Shatov, before Dmitry Aidov managed a late consolation for newly promoted Torpedo.
The match was played behind closed doors as part of Zenit's punishment for an incident last season when fans invaded the pitch and one of them attacked a Dynamo Moscow player.
The win continues strong league form for Zenit, who beat Arsenal Tula 4-0 last week, but were made to work hard in Europe in midweek, eventually beating Cypriot club AEL Limassol 3-1 over two legs.
CSKA struggled to break down newly promoted Mordovia, only prevailing after Seydou Doumbia was fouled by his former teammate Viktor Vasin and converted the resulting penalty on 79 minutes.
On Sunday, Zenit and CSKA could be joined at the top by Dynamo or Spartak Moscow, depending on the winner of their Moscow derby.
Friday's games saw FC Ufa take its first Premier League win in its second ever top flight game, beating Amkar Perm 1-0. FC Rostov drew 2-2 with FC Kuban.
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