Moscow - FC Krasnodar posted a confident 3-0 win over Arsenal Tula on Monday to boost their hopes of snatching their first Russian title.
The win allowed Krasnodar to extend their unbeaten Premiership run to 15 matches and take them to within six points of leaders Zenit St Petersburg.
Reigning champions CSKA Moscow, who beat Ural Yekaterinburg 3-1, sit third another four points further behind.
League bosses had switched the match between Arsenal and FC Krasnodar to the Lokomotiv Moscow arena because of the poor state of the pitch at Tula.
Russian international skipper Roman Shirokov put FC Krasnodar 1-0 up in the 38th minute from close-range shot after a defensive blunder.
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Brazilian forward Ari made it 2-0 10 minutes after the interval when he converted Shirokov's cross.
In the 87th minute Arsenal were awarded a penalty after forward Artur Maloyan was felled in the area.
But Valdimir Korytko's spotkick was parried by goalkeeper Andrey Dikan.
Colombian midfielder Ricardo Laborde rounded off the scoring as he fired the ball under the crossbar from the edge of the six-yard box in injury time.
"We've preserved our title chances and still kept leaders Zenit under pressure," FC Krasnodar manager Oleg Kononov said.
"I think we can be happy with our performance this season in general and today as well."
In Monday's late match, reigning champions CSKA recorded their second consecutive league win to stay in the race for a place in next season's Champions League.
Israeli international Bebars Natcho lifted CSKA 1-0 up in the 17th minute when he calmly stroked the ball into the corner from the spot after Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa was fouled in the box.
After the break midfielders Georgi Milanov and Alan Dzagoev scored within just one minute of each other to secure the Red Army a well-deserved win before Alexandr Sapeta scored a consolation goal with four minutes to go.
"Our leaders have finally recovered from injuries, now we're a competitive side again," CSKA head coach Leonid Slutsky said.
"We played well tonight, keeping the play under complete control and won deservedly."