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 Match Information 
 2015-10-21 (19:45) (ECup)  CSKA Moscow 1–1 Manchester United
  Venue: Arena Khimki (18456)
  Goals: Martial1 
  Lineup: De Gea  Valencia  JonesP  Smalling  Rojo  Schweinsteiger  Schneiderlin  Lingard  Herrera  Martial  Rooney 


CSKA Moscow 1-1 Manchester United
Posted by   Bill   on   2015-10-23 @ 17:49:30 -0600

CSKA 1-1 Man Utd

Doumbia 15′
Martial 65′

FT 90 +4
HT 1-0

Anthony Martial rescued a point for Manchester United as they drew with CSKA Moscow in the Champions League in a laboured performance.

Seydou Doumbia gave CSKA the lead, reacting first after David de Gea saved Roman Eremenko's penalty, awarded for a handball by Martial.

United improved after the break with Martial making up for his mistake by heading in Antonio Valencia's cross.

They are now second in Group B as Wolfsburg beat PSV Eindhoven to go top.

Captain Wayne Rooney was quiet, and it was not a thrilling display with Sunday's Manchester derby looming large, especially as their city rivals earned a late win over Sevilla on the same night.

But a point against a CSKA team in freezing conditions allows them the opportunity to stamp their authority on an open group, should they beat the Russian league leaders in the return fixture at Old Trafford on 3 November.

United make sluggish start

It could have been a lot worse for Louis van Gaal's side, who have been unconvincing so far in Europe after a year's break from the Champions League.

In addition to the 15th-minute opener - which saw the United defence slow to react after De Gea pushed the initial effort on to the post - the Spanish keeper also had to claw away Ahmed Musa's long-range effort before the break.

Initially, United offered little response to Doumbia's eighth goal for club and country, any attacks sorely lacking in pace.

But Marouane Fellaini's introduction at half-time signalled an improvement, as Ander Herrera dropped deeper and injected more pace into the visitors' passing.

And it was from Herrera's pass that Valencia crossed for Martial to head his first Champions League goal.

Questions will once again be raised about Van Gaal's team choices, with the United boss favouring Martial on the left wing, Wayne Rooney up front and 22-year-old Jesse Lingard making his Champions League debut on the right.

Martial continued in the same position as he did against Everton on Saturday, given the task of taming of CSKA right-back Mario Fernandes, who was a constant threat.

The decision appeared to backfire early on as Martial found himself deep in the United area and handled Fernandes' flick to concede the early penalty.

The hosts' defenders were also quick to surround the former Monaco forward during the first half as he struggled to make an impact in attack.

But the 19-year-old changed the game's complexion with a brilliant header from 12 yards for his fifth goal of the season.

The strike came from a central position, where the £36m signing has largely played in his early United appearances, and with Rooney failing to make a huge impact in his place, it will be interesting to see whether Van Gaal keeps them there for Sunday's derby.

Despite being United's top-scorer this season with six goals, Rooney spent long periods on the game's periphery.

Playing at the point of the visitors' attack, he had a half-chance in the first period from Antonio Valencia's near-post cross, and a second-half header was well saved by CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

But the 29-year-old touched the ball only 40 times, more than De Gea's 39 but less often than Fellaini's 47, despite the Belgian only being introduced at half-time.

Van Gaal has already defended his captain this season but if the player is so crucial to the United manager's success, it is arguable he should play in a position where he is more involved.

Stats you need to know

Anthony Martial scored his first Champions League goal after exactly 11 hours on the pitch in the competitions.
Seydou Doumbia has scored 13 Champions League goals for CSKA; more than twice as many as any other player for the club.
Doumbia has now scored six goals in five Champions League games against English clubs (five v Manchester City, one v Manchester United).
Morgan Schneiderlin completed 119 passes in this match - the most by a United player in a Champions League game since Darren Fletcher v Cluj in October 2012.

What next?

The Manchester derby takes place at Old Trafford on Sunday - kick-off 14:05 GMT. United have back-to-back home games in the Champions League, with the return fixtures against CSKA Moscow before hosting PSV Eindhoven on 25 November.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)
CSKA Moscow

35 Akinfeev
02 Figueira Fernandes
24 Berezutski (Berezutski - 42' )
04 Ignashevitch
42 Schennikov
07 Tosic
03 Wernbloom
10 Dzagoev (Cauna - 87' )
18 Musa
25 Alekseevich Eremenko (Panchenko - 83' )
88 Doumbia


01 Chepchugov
06 Berezutski
08 Panchenko
14 Nababkin
19 Cauna
23 Milanov
60 Golovin

Manchester United

01 de Gea
25 A Valencia
04 Jones
12 Smalling
05 Rojo (Blind - 63' )
31 Schweinsteiger (Fellaini - 45' Booked )
28 Schneiderlin
35 Lingard (Depay - 80' )
21 Herrera Booked
09 Martial Booked
10 Rooney


07 Depay
08 Mata
16 Carrick
17 Blind
20 Romero
27 Fellaini
36 Darmian

Ref: Carlos Velasco Carballo
Att: 18,456


Back in the USSR
Posted by   PaulJ   on   2015-10-27 @ 18:45:13 -0600

Our hubris that spring
A fond dream. This autumn
An ordeal survived.

Faustino Marcos Alberto Rojo longed for the morning not to come, but it came as usual. He lay in a strange bed looking through the frost on the window pane and dreamed of spring in Buenos Aires. He had served time as a youth in Moscow Spartak and knew what to expect from the zeks whom he would have to meet that evening at the Experimental and Demonstrational Playground of Military Administration. He had tried to avoid this match; forgetting to renew his passport, fibbing to the manager that his injury was less serious than he knew it to be, but Luke Shaw had broken a leg and Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind were out of favour and he was too good to be left out of the team. Alongside him would be Antonio Valencia replacing Darmian, and Jesse Lingard replacing Juan Mata.

CSKA (Central Sports Club of the Army) were founded in 1911 as the Amateur Society of Skiing Sports and became in the Soviet era the Experimental and Demonstrational Playground of Military Education, then of Military Administration. In 1928 they were known as the Sports Club of Central House of the Red Army, then of the Soviet Army, then of the Ministry of Defence and finally the CSKA. The football division of the club came to success after the Second World War, winning five titles in six seasons. They won five Soviet Cups and seven Soviet titles, including the final one of 1991, and have won five Russian Premier League titles, seven Russian Cups and the 2005 UEFA Cup. Now ostensibly a private company their major shareholder remains the Ministry of Defence. They own the Light-Athletic Football Complex but it holds only 4,600 spectators and until their new stadium is completed next year they play in the Arena Khimki which holds over 18,500 and which they share with Dynamo.

There was one last hope for Rojo; FIFA rules allow no match when the temperature falls below minus fifteen. But as they walked out into the Khimki it was obvious that it was not much worse than Manchester; minus one, the match was on. CSKA are top of the Russian League at the moment, scoring goals for fun, yet they opened with Georgi Shchennikov giving the ball to Anthony Martial, who could not thread it through to Wayne Rooney and for fifteen minutes the eight hundred travelling fans had cause for optimism. Lingard and Ander Herrera kept popping up for the ball, we worked it well in their half of the field but we only threatened the goal when Martial had a hopeful shot from outside the area and when he might have won a penalty, taking Bastian Schweinsteiger’s pass and going down in an open sandwich involving Mário Fernandes and Vasili Berezutski.

When the time came for us to step up a gear, however, it was CSKA’s Fernandes who ran at pace up their right wing and the follow-up was a shot from Zoran Tošić, keen to avenge his rejection by our club. A minute later Fernandes was back, this time dinking past Martial and shooting. David de Gea pulled off a fine save but the referee was pointing to the spot; Martial, his senses deserting him, had fielded Fernandes’ flick with the palm of an upraised hand. De Gea could not have done much more, for he pushed Roman Eremenko’s fierce spot kick onto the post but Seydou Doumbia, 25 goals in 33 European matches, made our defenders look sluggish and neatly tucked the rebound inside that same post; 15 minutes 0-1.

Now, what had looked like methodical, confident passing became pedestrian. We plugged away; Rooney got the ball to Lingard but Sergei Ignashevich was far too experienced for him and conned a free kick out of the referee. Lingard and Valencia looked sound working the right wing but our left flank was another matter altogether, Rojo lost like an escapee in the crossbeams of searchlights; Martial tackled every time he went forward by an impeccable Fernandes. Everything the Russians tried looked faster and more exciting. Doumbia cruised like a hungry shark. Fernandes had the time of his life flying up and down the one wing and when Shchennikov broke up the other it was a good job his cross was awful. Ahmed Musa saw de Gea standing off his line and chipped for the top corner but underestimated the brilliance of our goalkeeper who, though stretched to his absolute limit, palmed it over the bar. The place was a cauldron of fervour and the last thing those of us at home needed was Michael Owen, BT’s commentator, enjoying telling us repeatedly the bleeding obvious; we were lacking inspiration, bottom of the group and in deep trouble.

Yet we might have equalised before half time. Rooney ran on to Valencia’s ball to the near post only to find goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev in his way and when at long last Martial did get past Fernandes, Herrera and Rooney were inches away from converting his cross. Though these moments seemed to come out of nothing they proved to be the early signs that we were regaining control and after the interval what had seemed an unpromising substitution, Marouane Fellaini for Schweinsteiger, proved effective as CSKA sat back upon their immense defensive experience. The possibility for disaster remained; Shchennikov’s cross was more likely to trouble a passing cosmonaut than a competent defence but as it fell to earth Rojo added to his unhappy night by missing it with his head, eyes closed, but not with his arm. Accidental, but a referee other than Señor Carlos Velasco Carballo might have been swayed by the appeals, or by the crowd, or merely by the incompetence.

As on the television the diminutive Scouser whined imperspicaciously he might instead have noticed a significant increase in our creative activity. Lingard and Herrera in particular were winning more of the ball and we worked a Phil Jones free kick up the right for a splendid cross by Herrera which Rooney met ten yards from the near post with a firm header, forcing Akinfeev into his first real save of the match. Lingard put Rooney through but he could not cut the ball back to Fellaini, Herrera battled away and put Lingard in on goal; offside but things were moving in the right direction. Rojo, meanwhile, took out his frustration on Fernandes with a body check which left the crowd baying, the referee unmoved and the Brazilian on his backside with his pride wounded. When Louis van Gaal replaced Rojo with Blind, BT’s travelling dwarf, who had been calling for Rojo’s withdrawal for half an hour, now had the nerve to say that the manager was in error. CSKA launched their only flamboyant attack of the half, ending with a dangerously curling shot from Eremenko which de Gea held on to as Doumbia sniffed another morsel of bait but out of this unpromising moment sprang salvation; an equalising goal forty five seconds and ten passes after the ball left our goalkeeper’s hands. Lingard, Morgan Schneiderlin and Herrera were each twice involved before Martial dived fifteen yards out to meet Valencia’s cross and head it in splendidly off the inside of the post; 65 minutes 1-1.

It was a pity we did not go on to take control of the group by becoming the first side to win an away game but that would have required a little more courage. Chris Smalling did well to negate Doumbia’s powerful run and late in the game Herrera took a yellow card upon himself nipping Musa’s attack in the bud but there was no doubt that the match was there for our taking. Fernandes, so dominant before the break, was looking fault-ridden now as Martial and substitute Memphis Depay got at him. Blind was pressing forward, Jones making runs but it was a familiar story; we carved out precious few clear chances. There was no power in Fellaini’s header from one of several good crosses from Valencia and when Memphis outwitted Tošić and put in a beauty from the left, Martial put the ball in the danger area but the goalkeeper took control before Fellaini could.

We have played three times before in Moscow. In 1992 Torpedo held us to a scoreless draw but came from behind in the penalty shoot-out to dump us out of the UEFA Cup. In 2009 we won 1-0 at CSKA with a late goal from Antonio Valencia. And of course there was that other penalty competition, in the final against Chelsea in 2008. Marcos Rojo is not the first footballer to return to England with nightmares about this city. Viva John Terry!

Paul Andrew James


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