CSKA’s plans of progressing to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages are n in question after the Muscovites suffered a 2-0 home loss at the hands of French rivals from Lille.
CSKA’s head coach Leonid Slutsky couldn’t field half of his starting lineup on the night, with the likes of Keisuke Honda and Zoran Tosic being injured and top scorer Seydou Doumbia – disqualified after a red card against Trabzonspor.
No wonder it were Lille, who dictated the course of play at the Luzhninki stadium, creating the first big chance on 20th minute.
After a couple of aerial challenges in the Moscow team’s box, the ball made his way to Mathieu Debuchy, who fired from point blank, but end up hit the crossbar.
CSKA replied with Alan Dzagoev nearly scoring directly from the corner, but visiting keeper Mickael Landreau coped with the threat.
And it were Lille, who had the final say in the first half, with Franck Beria failing to find an empty net after Moussa Sow slalomed into the Russian penalty area on 39th minute.
The French side took the lead only after the restart and they should thank CSKA’s Visily Berezutsky for this.
The defender was vying for the ball with Sow and occasionally scored into his own net on 40th minute, 1-0.
Lille doubled their lead 15 minutes later, with Eden Hazard feeding Joe Cole with a ball in a great position. The Englishman’s shot hit the post, but Sow netted past keeper Vladimir Gabulov on the rebound, 0-2.
CSKA’s just didn’t have the resources to come back into the game like they did on the opening matchday in France as the visitors collected a well-deserved win.
“It’s a fair defeat,” Leonid Slutsky, CSKA coach, said. “Injury problems didn’t allow us to show our best football. As soon as our players are getting a bit better and they have to go out on the pitch right away. Of course, it was a huge setback in a game against such skillful opponents as Lille.”
Inter Milan drew 1-1 at Trabzonspor in the other Group B game of the night to guarantee themselves a spot in the next round. The Turks move to second, with six points.
The three points earned in Moscow see Lille dropping CSKA to the bottom of the group. Both sides have five points, but the club from France sit higher due to better results in head-to-head clashes.
Even a win away at Inter Milan on Matchday 6 may not be enough for the Russians to bag a spot in the playoff round.
UEFA Champions League’s Matchday 2 scores:
Bayern 3-1 Villarreal
Napoli 2-1 Man. City
Trabzonspor 1-1 Internazionale
CSKA 0-2 Lille
Man. United 2-2 Benfica
Otelul Galati 2-3 Basel
Real Madrid 6-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Lyon 0-0 Ajax