Roman Pavlyuchenko scored a hat-trick as Russia hit back from 1-0 down to beat Armenia and pile the pressure on their rivals in Euro 2012 qualifying Group B.
Dick Advocaat's men started the day level on 10 points with the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia but temporarily moved three points ahead after a result which was more convincing than the performance.
Marcos Pizzelli put the visitors ahead after 25 minutes before Pavlyuchenko took centre stage, the Tottenham striker equalising almost immediately before making it 2-1 on the hour mark and then adding another with a 73rd-minute penalty.
Later, the Republic visit FYR Macedonia with Slovakia hosting Andorra.
Russia piled on the pressure straight from the kick-off, forcing three corners inside the opening two minutes with Pavlyuchenko then firing in a shot which drew a fine save from visiting goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky.
Armenia finally settled and Russia defender Sergei Ignashevich had to make a vital block to prevent Yura Movsisyan from giving the visitors the lead after 10 minutes.
Russia swiftly reasserted their authority though with Pavlyuchenko and Aleksandr Anyukov putting shots off target before Berezovsky made a fine save to deny Yury Zhirkov.
Having absorbed the pressure, Armenia promptly went up the other end and took the lead.
Movsisyan led a break down the left before picking out Pizzelli with a cross-field pass. Pizzelli hit it first time with his shot trickling past the advancing Igor Akinfeev and the despairing attempts of Ignashevich who had scrambled back.
The lead lasted just over a minute as Anyukov crossed for Pavlyuchenko and he volleyed home with the assistant referee confirming the ball had crossed the line before Berezovsky could palm it clear.
Armenia came close to restoring their lead before half-time with Akinfeev having to make saves from Gevorg Ghazaryan, Pizzelli and Karlen Mkrtchyan.
Russia were far more assertive after the break and went ahead for the first time after 59 minutes, Igor Semshov providing Pavlyuchenko with the chance to convert from close range.
Movsisyan headed over at the other end four minutes later while Akinfeev had to make a fine save from Robert Arzumanyan to preserve the hosts' advantage.
Russia effectively settled the points 18 minutes form time when Sargis Hovsepyan was adjudged to have fouled Zhirkov inside the area and Pavlyuchenko completed his treble by slotting home the spot-kick.