The Army Men cruised to victory in Italy thanks to Seydou Doumbia's brace.CSKA Moscow continued their 100% record in the UEFA Europa League with their third consecutive 3-0 victory. Seydou Doumbia got things started for the Russians after his strike partner Vagner Love had missed a penalty.
The African striker didn't take long in the second-half to double his personal tally, bullying his way through two defenders and finishing neatly. Palermo certainly had their chances in both halves and their pace threatened the Russian defense, but Javier Pastore's red card ended the game for the hosts.
It was left to Alan Dzagoev to provide the showboating build-up to CSKA's third, Tomas Necid clinically finishing Sekou Oliseh's cross.
CSKA Moscow rotated their midfield for the game, bringing the likes of Keisuke Honda and Mark Gonzalez in to the team with one eye on their crucial Russian Premier League game against Rubin Kazan at the weekend.
It was the visitors who set the tempo early on, crisp, tidy passing forcing the Rosanero back but it was the hosts who threatened first. Abel Hernandez making a clever run into the right of the Russian area, turning, but failing to make full contact with his shot.
The pace of the Palermo forwards caused problems for the Army Men defenders trying to push up. Massimo Maccarone darting in behind Vasili Berezutsky, threaded through by Javier Pastore but the Italian was wrongly flagged offside clean on goal.
It took the visitors ten minutes to settle, Mark Gonzalez firing a warning shot just wide of Francesco Benussi's right post.
Gradually CSKA began to dominate possession and chances started to fall for them. Honda found Gonzalez bursting down the left in acres of space, the Chilean winger felled by Benussi after the keeper hesitated and the referee pointed to the spot. Benussi saw a yellow card but redeemed himself saving Vagner Love's penalty stretching down to his left.
Again it was the CSKA duo who linked up inside the Italians box, Gonzalez returning a pass to Vagner Love whose shot was blocked by two bodies and the keeper for a corner.
However the hosts finally got their goal just after the half-hour mark. A dangerous cross was initially missed by Love but Seydou Doumbia bundled his header into the net from close range.
Palermo bounced back well from going a goal down, Maccarone giving Berezutsky a rough ride turning inside the Russian centre back with ease but shot straight at Akinfeev.
At half-time it was perhaps a deserved lead for the Russians but Palermo were hard done by with the officials offside decisions.
Leonid Slutsky set his defense slightly deeper in the second-half to combat the pace of Palermo but it was the pace of Mark Gonzalez, which cause a problem for the Rosanero down the left. The winger broke quickly and his early low cross was perfect for Vagner Love but the Brazilians control let him down.
Pastore continued to be a danger for the Italians but with the defensive line deeper, the playmaker was forced to shoot rather than thread his incisive passes.
It was Doumbia once more who stung Palermo with the aid of poor defending. Honda found the striker inside the area and the former Young Boys man skipped through two defenders before sliding his shot into the bottom corner.
Substitute Tomas Necid was next to almost make the most of slack defending. Pavel Mamaev was allowed time to pick his pass, a clever dummy by Vagner Love allowing the ball to run to the Czech forward. Necid took one touch to steady himself but cracked his shot agonisingly wide of the angle.
Palermo very nearly got themselves back in the game on 70 minutes. Pastore fed in Pajtim Kasami and his first time cross deflected off Berezutsky and flashed across the goal line.
It was then Pastore that effectively ended the evening for the Rosanero. The playmaker applauding the referee's decision to award a free-kick sarcastically and rightly receiving a second yellow card.
With ten minutes left substitute Alan Dzagoev provided a moment of magic. The young Russian finding Sekou Oliseh with a classy flick to release the winger. Sekou squared for Necid and the Czech pinged his side footed shot into the corner of the net.
The time ticked away and has left Palermo's European hopes in a sticky situation. The Italians will be hoping for results to go in their favor to reach the next round.
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