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By ESPN Staff
Nov 18, 2006

CSKA Moscow clinch Russian title with crushing win

MOSCOW, Nov 18 (Reuters) - CSKA Moscow crushed Luch-Energiya Vladivostok 4-0 on Saturday to clinch their second consecutive Russian league title.

Daniel Carvalho opened the scoring in the 15th minute and fellow Brazil international Vagner Love added a hat-trick to lead CSKA to an easy victory despite travelling more than 6,000 km and seven time zones to the eastern port city of Vladivostok.

The win gave the army side an unassailable three-point lead over city rivals Spartak with just one round of matches remaining. Even if Spartak were to win their last game, CSKA would still be champions thanks to a larger number of victories.

Spartak captain Yegor Titov and fellow Russian international Roman Pavlyuchenko each scored twice to power Spartak to a thrilling 4-3 win at Rostov to secure the runners-up spot.

Spartak remained five points clear of third-placed Lokomotiv Moscow, who beat Amkar Perm 3-1 to stay a point ahead of Zenit St Petersburg, 2-1 winners over bottom club Shinnik Yaroslavl.

Zenit must beat mid-table Tom Tomsk and hope that Lokomotiv slip up against Rostov in the season's finale to finish third. If Lokomotiv end third, it would mean the same finishing order as last year.

CSKA and Spartak will represent Russia in next year's Champions League competition while Lokomotiv and Zenit will play in the UEFA Cup.

At the other end of the table, Shinnik and Torpedo Moscow, who lost 2-1 to city rivals Dynamo on Saturday, are relegated and will be replaced by FK Khimki and Kuban Krasnodar.

Dynamo, one of the oldest and most popular Russian clubs who have fallen on hard times in recent years, just escaped the drop as they finished third from bottom.

They remain the only Russian side never to be relegated.