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Lokomotiv thrash 10-man Rubin, boost European dream

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Players of Lokomotiv Moscow celebrating after posting a 4-0 win over 10-man Rubin Kazan in their match of the Russian League in Moscow on Friday.

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AFP, Moscow :
Lokomotiv Moscow posted a 4-0 win over 10-man visitors Rubin Kazan on Friday, giving a major boost to their hopes of finishing second in the Russian league this season.
Only freshly crowned champions Zenit Saint Petersburg and the team that finishes second are assured of a place in the group stage of next season's Champions League, while the third placed finishers go into the third qualifying round.
With two games remaining the win left the railway-backed side five points clear of third-placed Krasnodar, who visit bottom-placed Yenisei Krasnoyarsk on Saturday but six points behind Zenit, who claimed their fifth Russian title last week.
Lokomotiv were in the Champions League group phase last year, but won just one of their six games, but are now on the brink of qualifying again.
"Two quick goals decided the match," Lokomotiv manager Yury Syomin said. "That made our life much easier in the remainder of the match.
"I'm very pleased with how my men performed today."
Lokomotiv got off to a flying start as their midfielder Anton Miranchuk opened the scoring from the spot in the third minute after Rubin fouled his twin brother Alexei in the box.
Forward Fyodor Smolov added his goal seven minutes later when he converted a right-wing cross by Rifat Zhemaletdinov.
Rubin hopes of saving the day were dented in the 55th minute when their midfielder Vyacheslav Podberyozkin received his marching with a second yellow card.
Pole Grzegorz Krychowiak made Rubin pay in the 73rd minute sending the ball home with a header off a well-delivered corner.
Rubin were also awarded a penalty but Igor Konovalov's 83rd-minute low spotkick went just inches off the left post.
Second-half substitute Khvicha Kvaratskhelia completed the rout with three minutes to go.
Earlier on Friday Arsenal Tula edged the hosts Anzhi Makhachkala 1-0 to go fifth keeping their push for a first-ever European football qualification on track.
Midfielder Zelimkhan Bakaev scored the only goal of the match with a precise spotkick in the 34th minute after Anzhi defenders brought him down in the area dashing the home team's hopes to avoid relegation.

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