Rostov held by Ufa while Anzhi shock Dynamo Moscow
A combination of poor finishing and solid defending by Ufa frustrated Rostov in front of a 35,000 crowd and could allow Zenit to pull seven points clear when they host misfiring champions Lokomotiv Moscow on Sunday.
"My men obviously lacked creativity in attack today," said Rostov manager Valery Karpin. "Besides, we failed to put enough pressure on Ufa.
"It's good that we managed to keep a clean sheet today but we're all upset as we failed to win at home."
Anzhi Makhachkala climbed off the foot of the table with a surprise 1-0 win at Dynamo Moscow, as Venezuelan striker Andres Ponce scored the only goal of the match four minutes after the interval.
Dynamo had a chance to snatch a point in injury time but Evgeny Lutsenko missed a penalty.
Spartak Moscow could reclaim second place when they meet bitter rivals CSKA in Moscow's most famous derby on Sunday.