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Pitch, not Moscow security concerns Inter

5 April 2010 18:55

MOSCOW (AFP) - Jose Mourinho believes that CSKA Moscow's plastic pitch poses as much danger to Inter Milan's Champions League as concerns over the tense security situation in the Moscow capital.

Inter, who last won Europe's most prestigious club prize back in 1965, take a slender 1-0 lead to the Luzhniki Stadium on Tuesday for their quarter-final second leg clash with the artificial, all-weather surface taxing his planning.

"It will be the first time we have played on a plastic pitch," said Mourinho.

"We don't have any time to train on a synthetic surface. It is a big disadvantage, but when players were kids they played on the street, so why can't they play on a plastic pitch?"

Inter's Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso believes the key will not be distracted by the playing surface.

"We have to consider the pitch as a normal difficulty, as can be both the heat or the cold," he said.

"We will focus on our opponents and on what we ourselves can do."

Inter warmed up for Tuesday's tie with a 3-0 win over Bologna on Saturday which kept them top of Serie A with Mario Balotelli, back in favour after a fall-out with Mourinho, on target.

Brazilian midfielder Thiago Motta, who missed the quarter-final first leg at the San Siro through suspension, scored the other two.

Motta should return Tuesday as could compatriot Lucio who also sat out the first game.

CSKA, bidding to become the first Russian team to make the Champions League semi-finals, didn't play the weekend after their scheduled league match with Zenit St Petersburg was postponed because of the Russian Orthodox Easter celebrations.

The interior ministry called the match off saying there were not enough police officers to provide security at the match, which was scheduled for Luzhniki stadium on Saturday.

"Easter is an event which cannot be cancelled or postponed," interior ministry spokesman Oleg Elnikov said.

He added that Moscow's police were on red alert after suicide bombers carried out attacks in the Moscow metro last week, killing 40.

CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky said his side can still stun Inter and make the last four.

"In the match at San Siro we failed to create anything serious in attack," Slutsky said. "We lost the ball on too many occasions allowing Inter to put extra pressure on our defence.

"The score of the first leg leaves us chances for an aggregate win and a place in the semis. I believe we can play more interesting football in Moscow."

However, CSKA will be without two first-choice midfielders -- Serbian star Milos Krasic and Russian international Yevgeny Aldonin who both received yellow cards in Milan.

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Info

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
6 April 2010
Kick-off
18:30
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
0 - 1
On aggregate
0 - 2
Venue
Olimpiyskiy stadion Luzhniki (Moskva)
Attendance
54400

Goals

0 - 1

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
15 38' 49'
20
25
1
14
23
26

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