MOSCOW (Reuters) - Spartak Moscow ended a 16-year wait when they won the Russian Premier League on Sunday thanks to Zenit St Petersburg’s shock 1-0 home defeat by Terek Grozny.
Third-placed Zenit had needed a win to keep alive any hopes of catching Spartak, the most successful team in the post-Soviet era, but their hopes ended when Ablaye Mbengue scored for Terek in the 65th minute.
With three games left to play, Spartak, in their first full season under Italian coach Massimo Carrera, have 63 points, 10 ahead of CSKA Moscow with Zenit a further point back.
Spartak played on Saturday when a penalty converted by Dutchman Quincy Promes gave them a 1-0 win over Tom Tomsk while CSKA’s 2-0 win over Amkar turned out to be in vain.
Spartak won the Russian league nine times in its first 10 years after it started in 1992, but that run came to an abrupt end after their last title 2001.
Since then, it has been shared by CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow, Zenit and Rubin Kazan.
Carrera, 53, was previously assistant and caretaker coach at Juventus and then assistant to Antonio Conte with the Italian national side.
He joined Spartak as an assistant coach after Euro 2016 and was quickly promoted to his first senior coaching role after Dmitri Alenichev resigned in August 2016.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Pritha Sarkar