Cape Verde international Ze Luis came off the bench to score a late winner as Spartak Moscow grabbed a 1-0 win at Krasnodar to move top of the Russian Premier League on Saturday.
The 27-year-old was introduced in the 76th minute and nodded in from close range 12 minutes later to snatch Spartak their third 1-0 win of the season.
The 10-time Russian champions are hoping to reclaim the title from city rivals Lokomotiv this season, and are yet to concede a goal in their opening four matches.
"I cannot say that we played well today," Spartak coach Massimo Carrera admitted. "But we took all three points and that's the most important thing."
Krasnodar's hopes of a third straight win were ended when forward Ari was sent off in injury-time for headbutting Spartak defender Samuel Gigot.
Elsewhere, CSKA Moscow, who finished second last season, brushed aside 10-man Arsenal Tula 3-0 to claim their first win of the season.
After struggling to a defeat and two draws in their opening three outings, CSKA started well and took a 10th-minute lead through Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez.
Arsenal Tula's hopes of a comeback were all but ended in the 67th minute as defender Gia Grigalava was red-carded for handball.
CSKA took advantage, with Kristijan Bistrovic's volley and a curling effort from Fyodor Chalov wrapping up all three points.
Zenit St Petersburg can retake top spot in the table if they can maintain their 100 percent start to the campaign against Ural Yekaterinburg on Sunday.