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UEFA Champions League
23 October 2013
• Arena Khimki, Khimki
Referee: O. Hațegan
• Attendance: 14000
Z. Tošić 32'
S. Agüero 34', 42'
Anyway, that'll be all from me, Sam Wells, this evening. Thanks for following today's game with me and I look forward to the next! Until next time, farewell.
Manchester City, meanwhile, will be delighted with that result as, in the end, it was job done. Pellegrini will be disappointed that they didn't manage to kill off the game as Negredo's disallowed goal, alongside Dzeko's two misses, could have left them rueing their profligacy, had Joe Hart not come to their rescue in the final minute. Still, they managed to claim the win and that's all that matters!
CSKA will be bitterly disappointed with that result - they could so easily have claimed a draw had Honda converted in that final minute. They probably feel that they deserved a share of the points and who can blame them? They took City right to the end of that contest and can take courage in the way they persisted right up until the final whistle.
90' + 3'
And, with that save practically the final touch of the game, the referee brings an end to proceedings as City claim the 2-1 win!
90' + 2'
Honda misses an absolutely golden chance to equalise! After Garcia threw himself at the ball on the right wing, Musa crossed the ball in and, with the centre back absent, the ball found its way to the unmarked Honda at the far post. The Japanese volleyed goalwards but Hart saved brilliantly to deny the midfielder! CSKA will rue that miss!
90' + 1'
Honda earns a free kick off Kolarov by the byline, going down fairly easily as the ball appeared to go behind for a goalkick. The same man appears to whip the ball in - this could be the last chance of the game.
Musa gets forward well down the left before crossing the ball into the far post. Thankfully for City, it falls to Clichy who calmly chests the ball back to Hart.
Clichy replaces the potential matchwinner in Aguero as City look to shore things up in the final stages of this contest. Can they hold on?
Dzeko goes close again! Navas whips in an excellent ball from the right and the Bosnian meets it, once again, with a toepoke but, as with minutes before, his finish finds itself trickling wide of the post.
Hart forces Doumbia to chase him before picking the ball up in his area as Clichy appears primed to come on for the away side.
CSKA continue to control possession in the latter stages, something few would surely have foreseen after City got that second goal. Tosic fires another goalwards from distance but Hart, again, is equal to the fairly tame effort.
Musa goes close again! The substitute shows some impressive footwork in the area to get past Garcia before firing an effort goalwards. Unfortunately for CSKA, it's straight at Hart as the goalkeeper gathers with a fair amount of ease.
A golden chance for Dzeko from the corner! After the initial delivery is cleared, Toure heads it back into the mix, allowing the Bosnian striker to get there before Akinfeev. He, clearly half-suspecting himself to be offside, toepokes the ball past the Russian but also agonisingly past the post. That could be a vital miss!
Aguero, still a threat whenever he receives the ball, gets the ball and plays it out to Nasri. The Frenchman feeds Dzeko, who duly plays off a CSKA defender for a corner.
News is filtering through that Toure has been on the end of some racist abuse from the CSKA support, particularly as the midfielder stayed down after that disallowed goal a couple of minutes back.
Yellow Card Pablo Zabaleta
Another disallowed goal! This time, it's CSKA who are thwarted by the referee's. It's a magnificent strike from Musa but the referee gives a foul for a high foot against Wernbloom - that's a let-off for City if ever there was one!
Zabaleta is booked for an extremely rash challenge on Musa, affording the opposition a free kick in another dangerous position, this time on the left wing.
Nasri appears to be limbering up on the touchline as we approach the final ten minutes of this encounter. City don't appear to be in too much difficulty as it stands but who knows what could happen as the final whistle comes closer and closer.
Doumbia is unhappy after another coming together with Garcia, a free kick is given against the striker despite there being very little in it.
Tosic goes on another impressive winding run, causing City's defence endless problems as they backtrack rapidly. Zabaleta eventually dispossesses him but he was almost through there!
Honda puts Musa through with a nice ball but the substitute can't do anything with it as Garcia sees the ball behind for a corner. To give him his dues, decent defensive work from the Spaniard there, despite enduring a difficult game thus far.
After Negredo is replaced by Dzeko, Tosic fires an effort from distance goalwards. 'Fire' is perhaps a charitable word to describe it, however, as it trickles fairly harmlessly wide of Joe Hart's post.
Yellow Card Ahmed Firaz Moosa
Substitute Musa is booked after going down under the challenge of Garcia in the box. He appeals vehemently for a penalty, vehemently enough to earn himself a booking.
After a scramble in the area, Toure volleys goalwards and, after his effort was blocked, it fell to Nastasic, only for the centre back to be ruled offside. Meanwhile, Dzeko appears to be limbering up on the touchline.
Toure whips the ensuing free kick goalwards and Akinfeev tips the ball over the ball astutely. The subsequent corner is headed behind by a CSKA man for another City set piece.
Quite lovely footwork from Silva to earn yet another free kick, this time on the left of the area. That after he brought down a long Hart clearance in some style, trapping the ball with his wrong foot. Quite majestic stuff.
And it's Silva who almost grabs a third! Kolarov provided another good cross but Aguero, if anything, got in the way of his teammate as he nicked the ball, already on its way through to the diminutive Spaniard. He still manages to bundle the ball goalwards but the effort is simply enough for Akinfeev to gather with little difficulty.
Silva continues to probe and look for ways through the CSKA ranks, playing several passes in the space of thirty seconds as City camp out just in front of the Moscow defence.
Yellow Card Yaya Touré
Milanov, who's been fairly impressive tonight, outruns Toure (believe it or not!) before the latter brings him down. He's drove at the City defence a couple of times tonight and looks dangerous from deep.
Honda has another chance to run at the City defence but he fails to really capitalise, eventually finding himself crowded out as the opportunity goes begging.
Ignashevich passes, quite perversely, straight into the referee and the ball falls kindly to Negredo on the halfway line. The Spaniard attempts to thread Aguero through but his ball is fairly poor, allowing the Russian centre back to get back and outmuscle the Argentine.
Tosic, continually lively, runs at the City defence before giving it to Honda. The Japanese midfielder attempts to find his teammate again with a ball over the top but it's overhit and runs through to Hart in the City goal.
Navas is brought down cynically by Musa and City have another free kick in a dangerous position. It looks as though Silva is limbering up to whip this ball in.
Negredo gets caught being too casual near the halfway line but Honda can't quite gather the ball after intercepting. City eventually settle down with another spell of fairly casual possession.
Honda takes the subsequent free kick but he can only find the arms of Hart with a fairly poor delivery. The England international drops it but a free kick is given his way by the referee.
Tosic earns his side a free kick after turning Kolarov inside and out down the right wing. That was lovely footwork from the winger, shimmying before nutmegging his compatriot.
Kolarov curls the ball over the wall and goalwards from the ensuing free kick but he gets it slightly wrong, dragging his effort wide of the near post and out for a goal kick.
Yellow Card Sergey Ignashevich
Toure is irate after being bodychecked off the ball by Ignashevich. The substitute is duly booked and City have a free kick in a dangerous position.
Doumbia has another chance! Wernbloom drives a ball into the area and, though it appears beyond the striker, he manages to get his head on it and divert the ball goalwards. It is fairly comfortable for Hart but that was a good effort!
CSKA make their first switch of the evening, replacing the fairly ineffectual Zuber with Musa. An attacking change and perhaps a show of intent from the Russians.
Ahmed Firaz Moosa
Garcia gets himself into trouble once more, bundling Doumbia over in the area after the CSKA striker got past him in the area. Though he went down easily, there was definitely contact and the stand-in centre back can consider himself lucky that the referee didn't deem that worthy of a penalty.
Toure goes close! After drifting into the area, he heads a Kolarov cross goalwards but Akinfeev is equal to it, gathering the ball with a smart save.
Disallowed goal! A lovely backheel from Zabaleta enables the hitherto quiet Navas to find Negredo in the middle. It gets a deflection off Akinfeev and, though the Spaniard bundles it home, the referee deems it a handball and duly rules out the goal before booking Negredo. A contentious decision there.
Yellow Card Negredo
City begin the half in control of proceedings once more, Silva earning a foul on the right wing after Schennikov appeared too eager to win the ball off the diminutive Spaniard.
And Manchester City get us underway in the second period! Let's see if they can build on that one-goal deficit Aguero provided them with in that first period.
City, meanwhile, will be pleased with the outcome of that first half, despite the performance itself warranting improvement. They've played well in patches but have looked susceptible defensively as conceding that first goal, frankly, is not good enough for a side with aspirations of winning this competition. Their recovery since that goal, however, is cause for optimism and they will be hoping they can build on that in the second period.
CSKA will, obviously, be disappointed with how that half unfolded after they scored the opener. Conceding instantly after scoring cannot be forgiven and, after appearing to gain belief from that Tosic opener, they've pushed too many men forward and been hit by the potent force of City's attacking powers. They now have no other choice but to push forward, meaning that this second half could go one of two ways - demolition or unlikely comeback!
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Pontus Wernbloom
CSKA give away a free kick on the edge of the area after Wernbloom handles, Silva strikes goalwards from the ensuing free kick but Akinfeev saves adeptly, tipping the ball wide in some style. And with that, the referee blows the half-time whistle and a fairly satisfactory half for Manchester City draws to a close.
Doumbia almost causes City some problems on the edge of the area but Kolarov, whose hand the ball appeared to strike in the build-up, intervenes and any potential danger passes.
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL! And it's Sergio Aguero with his second! It's another header for the Argentine as interplay between Silva and Negredo results in the latter putting in a quite magnificent cross with the outside of his left foot. Aguero provides the finishing touch, heading into the far corner and putting Manchester City 2-1 up!
Whistles from the CSKA support as City resume their strangehold over possession. Navas attempts to get a cross in but Schennikov intervenes, tackling and putting out for a throw.
The caginess of that opening seems like a distant memory now as CSKA continue to push forward in numbers, the likes of Tosic and Honda clearly keen to test the perceptibly suspect City defence.
City continue to chase the CSKA players as they retain possession, albeit without really troubling the visitor's backline. Those goals do appear to have changed the complexion of this tie, however, as, prior to the opening goal, it was City who were controlling proceedings.
CSKA are enjoying the lion's share of possession after that equaliser as that goal appears to have motivated them to throw more numbers forward - have they abandoned the counter-attack approach they adopted prior to the opening goal?
A hectic few minutes looks set to continue after Silva appears to give CSKA a corner with a stray attempted backpass. It transpires that the pass must have nicked a Russian body though and a goal kick, much to the surprise of Hart, is given.
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL! And it's an instant response from Aguero as the Argentine equalises! The striker gets a goal befitting of his poacher status and it's Silva who creates it, driving into the area before finding his teammate in the six yard box. The forward rides a challenge from Ignashevich before putting the ball beyond Akinfeev and into the far corner. An ideal response from City!
That was a truly horrific goal to concede from a City standpoint; Pellegrini will be wondering how, first of all, Garcia was beaten in the air by Honda and, second, how Nastastic wasn't aware of the run of Tosic.
Assist Keisuke Honda
Goal Zoran Tosic
GOAL! And it's Zoran Tosic! It's ridiculously straightforward for CSKA as a long ball is headed on by Honda, beating Garcia in the air. Tosic latches onto it and Nastasic is nowhere to be seen, allowing the winger to lift the ball over Hart and put CSKA 1-0 up!
CSKA have another chance to break clear and counter, this time through Zuber as he is threaded through the defence by Wernbloom. He chooses to try and square to Doumbia but the ball is behind the striker and the chance goes begging.
Another decent chance for City and it's Kolarov who provides it with a lovely driven ball in from the left, finding Negredo on the penalty spot. The Spaniard attempts to divert it into the corner but can only find the grateful arms of the keeper with what turns out to be a fairly tame effort.
Ignashevich feeds Schennikov down the left wing with a nice ball but the latter can't equal it, instead volleying high up into the air and out for a goal kick. A quite awful cross.
Navas appears to have switched wings with Silva, presumably in an attempt to get the Spaniard into the game. He's barely had a kick in the opening half an hour or so of this contest.
City engage in some neat interplay before Silva goes down somewhat theatrically in the box. It was nice play leading up to the theatrics but that was a fairly hopeful attempt at earning a penalty, to put it kindly.
Honda causes City some problems with a dangerous run but is unable to capitalise on the opportunity afforded him by a hopeful long ball. He attempts to take it down but his first touch lets him down and Nastasic is there to muddle the ball clear.
It soon transpires that they can't as Tosic's corner fails to beat the first man, Toure heading away with consummate ease.
Nastasic makes a rare mistake under pressure from Doumbia, conceding a corner as he attempted to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick. Let's see if CSKA can make this set piece count.
Negredo has his first effort of the goal but it's not troubling Akinfeev in the CSKA goal, flying over the bar after the Spaniard tried his luck from the edge of the area.
Doumbia attempts to get past Nastasic again but the Serbian steps in astutely and wins the ball. He's definitely got the beating of the CSKA striker in these early stages.
City have a half-chance, again through Aguero, after Toure dinked a cross into the box. The Argentine heads goalwards but his header is fairly impotent, flying harmlessly over the bar.
CSKA, once again, threaten to hit City on the counter, this time through Tosic but Kolarov gets back and overpowers the diminutive winger, thwarting his compatriot before the chance had an opportunity to really manifest itself.
And CSKA almost manage just that, getting Doumbia one-on-one with Nastasic after Garcia missed his clearance. Luckily for his Spanish defensive partner, the Serbian defended well, tackling the CSKA striker and averting any potential danger.
The game's slovenly pace appears set to continue as CSKA sit back, seemingly content to frustrate the visitors and attempt to hit them on the counter.
Honda, who one suspects will have to be on form if CSKA are to create anything tonight, disappoints with a poor ball, aimed at Zuber but only succeeding in finding the feet of Zabaleta, who duly clears.
Tosic almost gets himself into trouble tracking back as, after dallying on the ball, he appears close to being dispossed by Negredo but is afforded a reprieve by the referee, the official deeming the Spaniard's pressure worthy of a foul.
Aguero has the first real opportunity of the game but he spurns it! Zabaleta puts the ball on a plate for the Argentine on the six yard box but, attempting an acrobatic volley that is usually the diminutive striker's forte, the striker gets it all wrong and hits his effort tamely wide.
City respond by trying to get something going down the left, Negredo feeding the advancing Kolarov with a quite lovely through ball. The Serb attempts to turn inside Nababkin but the right back defends well, putting it out for a throw.
CSKA have another chance to cross but, again, they waste the chance as it's Tosic's turn to disappoint, crossing behind for a goal kick. It was a decent move though as Honda and Doumbia linked up once again.
CSKA work a crossing opportunity after a decent spell of possession, with Milanov backheeling smartly out to Nababkin, foraying forward down the right wing. His cross is overhit, however, and Silva is there to clear.
CSKA, fairly unambitious thus far, try to make something happen through Doumbia and Honda but the latter is dispossessed by the hitherto bright Fernandinho.
Fernandinho tries to make something happen with a clever ball inside the right back Nababkin. The Russian manages to intercept, however, and Berezutski completes the clearance, thumping out for a throw.
This game has started at no great rate - both sides appear to be sounding one another (and the pitch) out as we've yet to see any real gilt-edged chances in the first eight minutes.
The Citizens work the corner short, eventually finding Kolarov about 35 yards from goal. The Serbian left back takes a pop from distance but its extremely speculative and only succeeds in finding the stands.
City enjoy their first real spell of possession as Aguero engages in some nimble footwork on the edge of the area. He works the ball out right to Navas, who duly attempts to get a cross in. The cross is deflected behind and City have another corner.
CSKA look set to make an early change as they prepare to bring on Aleksei Berezutski, replacing his twin brother Vasili in central defence. The latter seemed fine coming off the pitch so that's a really odd one.
City get their first sight of goal as Aguero flicks toward the back post from a David Silva corner. That flick affords Toure a chance at the back post but he misses the ball completely - that was actually a fairly decent chance!
That was an early warning sign for Garcia there, the Spaniard's problems at centre back have been well-documented but for good reason. He never looks comfortable there and Doumbia will be looking to exploit that with his pace tonight.
Doumbia is already causing stand-in centre back Javi Garcia some early problems as a ball over the top, aimed at the striker, allows the CSKA striker to outpace the Manchester City man. Luckily for the latter, Hart spots the danger and comes out to intervene.
And proceedings are underway! CSKA Moscow get us kicked off as they go in search of an upset in this Group D clash.
As the Champions League anthem rings out around the ground, we are minutes away from kick off here at the Khimki Arena!
Manchester City, meanwhile, make three changes from the side that triumphed 3-1 over West Ham as Pablo Zabaleta, Alexsandar Kolarov and Jesus Navas come back into the side, replacing Micah Richards, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri in the starting eleven.
The main news for the home side is that Alan Dzagoev misses out completely due to a hamstring injury, though Seydou Doumbia is fit enough to return upfront for the Russians.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Garcia, Nastasic, Kolarov; Navas, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Silva; Aguero, Negredo. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Lescott, Clichy, Nasri, Dzeko, Jovetic.
CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev, Nababkin, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Shchennikov, Wernbloom, Honda, Zuber, Tosic, Milanov, Doumbia. Subs: Chepchugov, Vasin, Berezoutski, Gonzalez, Musa, Rahimic, Vitinho.
And here come the team line-ups:
Despite some terrible domestic form (they haven't scored in five league games), the Russian outfit will be looking to work the conditions to their advantage as they attempt to replicate their European form last season, where they managed to make it to the final 16. Let's see if they cause an upset!
CSKA Moscow will certainly be hoping they can make things tough for their English counterparts and, as the build-up has centred around, their ground could go some way to ensuring that hope becomes a reality. With their usual home, the Luzhniki stadium, unavailable due to ongoing developments for the 2018 World Cup, they are currently sharing the Arena Khimki pitch with Dinamo – a pitch that Pellegrini has voiced his concerns about in anticipation of this tie, particularly with heavy rain worsening its condition over the past day or two.
If Pellegrini's men want to qualify comfortably, never mind finish top, a result tonight would really come in handy, though it will be by no means easy, particularly given their erratic form thus far this season.
Manuel Pellegrini and his Manchester City outfit come to Russia for a clash that, thanks to their mixed start to the season, has taken on a greater importance than it might otherwise have had. After a humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich, at home no less, the Citizens face CSKA Moscow on the same number of points as their Russian counterparts, meaning that a loss here could pile on the pressure going into the second half of the group phase.
Good evening and welcome to live coverage of tonight's Champions League clash between CSKA Moscow and Manchester City, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through tonight's proceedings.
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