CSKA smash Real Madrid 3-0 to complete famous double… but still finish bottom of Group G
Champions League, Bernabeu – Real Madrid 0 CSKA 3 (Chalov 37, Shchennikov 43, Sigurdsson 73)
CSKA Moscow took advantage of a weakened Real Madrid team selection with a stunning performance in the Spanish capital, running out convincing 3-0 winners.
However, the result wasn’t enough to save the Russian club from fourth spot in Group G, with Plzen beating Roma to steal the spot in the Europa League.
With progression to the Round of 16 assured, Santiago Solari made several changes to the Real Madrid lineup. Vinicius Jr, making his first Champions League debut, started strongly and created several early chances. The 18-year-old was denied the opener with an excellent save from Igor Akinfeev, which subsequently saw Marcos Asnesio rattle a shot off of the woodwork.
The Russians became more comfortable as the first half progressed and opened the scoring against the run of play when Arnor Sigurdsson dashed towards goal and attracted a slew of Madrid defenders. Fedor Chalov was subsequently left unmarked on the edge of the area, where he curled a wonderful shot past Thiubaut Courtois.
The goal exposed an inexperienced Madrid defence, which included 22-year-old Álvaro Odriozola, 21-year-old Jesús Vallejo and Javier Sánchez, also 21.
CSKA played five at the back and could have sat back on the lead, but doubled their advantage five minutes later. Mario Fernandes broke into the box and saw his low drive deflected into the air by Courtois. Winger Georgi Shchennikov was on hand to volley in the rebound.
CSKA’s impressive first half saw them run 5km further than the hosts (for a total of 54km).
Madrid brought on senior players Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos in the second period, but conceded once again when Nikola Valsic teed up a wonderful low strike for Arnor Sigurdsson.
Despite beating Real Madrid home and away, CSKA finished bottom of Group G. Real Madrid went into the game having already progressed as group winners.
TALKING POINT: Are Real Madrid in a position to defend their Champions League title?
Los Blancos suffered their worst ever home Champions League defeat in this game, and have also lost an unprecedented five league games this season. With managerial turbulence and the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo thrown into the mix, it seems unlikely that Los Blancos will win a fourth consecutive Champions League.
However, they have qualified to the Round of 16 as group winners, they have recovered from their early season domestic troubles and they are a team geared towards European success. Write them off at your peril…
MAN OF THE MATCH: Arnor Sigurdsson
CSKA were impressive all over the pitch, but the Icelandic midfielder assisted the opener and capped the victory with his second Champions League goal.
Courtois 6; Odriozola 6, Vallejo 6, Javi Sánchez 6, Marcelo 6; Fede Valverde 7, Marcos Llorente 6, Isco 6; Asensio 7, Benzema 5, Vinicius Jr. 7.
Subs: Carvajal 6, Kroos 6, Bale 6.
Akinfeev 8; Fernandes 8, Magnusson 8, Becao 7, Nababkin 6, Schennikov 7; Oblyakov 7, Bistrovic 7, Vlasic 8; Sigurdsson 8, Chalov 8.
Subs: Hernandez 6, Kuchaev 6.
37 - GOAL! Sigurdsson darts towards the box and attracts three defenders, before passing to a relatively open Chalov on the edge of the box. The No. 9 controls and puts it on his left foot before unleashing a lovely curling shot!
43- GOAL! CSKA score again! A Fernandes shot from the right side of the box is deflected into the air by Courtois. Shchennikov is there to volley in the rebound!
73 - GOAL! Sigurdsson makes it three! Vlasic has the ball on the edge of the six yard box, changes direction and rolls it back to the Icelandic midfielder, who finishes brilliantly with a first-time shot!
Madrid have only failed to score in two of their last 34 Champions League games—both against CSKA Moscow.
CSKA Moscow are the only team to score three or more goals against Real Madrid at home this season.
This was Madrid’s first loss to Russian opponents at home since Spartak Moscow prevailed in the 1991 European Cup.