23.04.2018 21:38 h

Spartak Russian title hopes all but over after Akhmat defeat

Reigning champions Spartak Moscow's hopes of retaining the Russian title were all but ended on Monday as they lost 3-1 at home to Akhmat Grozny at the Otkrytie Arena.

Magomed Mitrishev, Brazilian Ismael Silva and Kosovo international midfielder Bernard Berisha all scored to set the club from the capital of Russia's Chechen republic on their way to the first ever win over Spartak in Moscow.

The result left Spartak in third place, seven points behind leaders Lokomotiv Moscow with just three matches to go.

Another Moscow side, CSKA, sit second, six points adrift of Lokomotiv, who are poised to win a first title since 2004 despite two goalless draws at home in the last week.

Mitrishev hammered in an early opener for Akhmat from a Berisha cross, and Ismael Silva doubled their lead midway through the first half.

It was 3-0 five minutes after the restart thanks to Berisha, who finished superbly on the breakaway.

Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano pulled one back for Spartak, but it was a painful defeat for Massimo Carrera's side.

"When such matches happen the coach is always the only guy to blame," said the Italian after what was Spartak's second straight league defeat.

They were also knocked out of the Russian Cup last midweek, losing on penalties to top-flight strugglers Tosno.