Real Madrid vs. CSKA Moskva  4 - 1


Mourinho thrilled with Kaka display

15 March 2012 07:41

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho hailed the form of resurgent midfielder Kaka after his side cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals.

After being held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last-16 encounter with CSKA Moscow last month, Real had two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and others from Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema to power them to a 4-1 second-leg win on Wednesday.

Kaka, who endured a difficult start to life in Madrid after moving from AC Milan in 2009, was man-of-the-match, brilliantly orchestrating play in the middle of the park.

Mourinho was delighted with the 29-year-old's output, and rewarded the Brazilian by substituting him with 15 minutes to play.

"He had a spectacular match," Mourinho said. "He had his best games at AC Milan, but he has never worked harder than now."

"He does fantastic work for the team and it is normal that he does not have enough strength in his legs after 75 minutes."

Mourinho played down the fact he will be without Xabi Alonso in the first leg of their quarter-final, after the Spanish midfielder was suspended for one match by being booked during the game.

"There is no reason to cry because Xabi will not be able to play," he said.

"We are fine in the midfield, there will not be any problem because Lassana Diarra or Esteban Granero will play next to Sami Khedira."

CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky was philosophical in defeat, and said beating Real on their home turf was always going to be a tough ask.

"To get a result we would have needed to produce our best game and make no mistakes," Slutsky said.

"We played in the right manner before the interval, attacked on the break but still made mistakes, giving away chances."

"There is a feeling of disappointment that we failed to produce a big game. We had some nice openings in front of goal. (Seydou) Doumbia had a great chance with the score at 0-0. In games like these you cannot think you will get a second or third or fourth chance."

"We made many mistakes and allowed them to dominate possession; that was never going to result in anything good for us considering the level of their team."


Champions League: Real Madrid 4 CSKA Moscow 1

14 March 2012 22:58

Real Madrid have progressed to the last eight of the Champions League after easing past CSKA Moscow 4-1 at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

With the tie still on a knife edge after a 1-1 draw from the first encounter in Moscow, a Cristiano Ronaldo brace alongside goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema proved enough for Jose Mourinho's men to comfortably see off the threat of the visitors on their way into the quarter-finals.

Zoran Tosic's brilliant effort with 13 minutes remaining was nothing but bitter consolation, as the Russian outfit crashed out of the competition by a 5-2 aggregate scoreline.

CSKA began with promise, and fired an early warning shot Madrid's way after seven minutes, with Seydou Doumbia striking just over when he really should have buried an incisive through ball by Alan Dzagoev.

Mourinho's men immediately stormed down the pitch in response, Ronaldo cutting in from the left to force Sergey Chepchugov into a smart stop at his near post.

Madrid would not be second best for long, however, and slowly began to exert their influence over proceedings with sustained pressure in the CSKA half.

The opener duly arrived in the 26th minute - Sami Khedira picked out Kaka, who hooked the ball back into the six-yard area for Higuain to poke home.

Madrid came storming out after the interval, Kaka sending a 20-yard effort inches wide before Ronaldo was put though on goal, only for Chepchugov to again thwart him with a strong block at the near post.

Ronaldo was not to be denied though, and scored the home side's second in the 55th minute after a costly gaffe by Chepchugov.

The CSKA keeper appeared to have the Portuguese's strike from 30 yards out covered, but fumbled at the last second as the ball slipped in under his arm and into the goal..

The visitors lost all impetus after the second, and found themselves further behind in the 70th minute when substitute Benzema poked home after his initial effort was saved.

The tie seemed done and dusted, but CSKA managed to pull a goal back out of nothing with 13 minutes remaining.

Tosic strode forward on the break, cut in from the left and blasted in an unstoppable shot off the crossbar from 20 yards out.

Ronaldo then added the icing on the cake at the death, stroking home Benzema's pass on the break from a few yards out as Madrid ran out comfortable winners.

Madrid now take their place in the last eight and await their next challenge, with the draw for the quarter-final set to take place on March 16....


Necid predicts late hat-trick

14 March 2012 14:30

CSKA Moscow's Tomas Necid says his horoscope has predicted he will net a hat-trick away to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Russian club CSKA held Real to a 1-1 draw thanks to a late equaliser in the first meeting between the teams on February 21.

Czech forward Necid started the first leg on the bench at the Luzhniki Stadium, and is likely to be named among the substitutes again for the return fixture at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Nevertheless, the 22-year-old believes he can be the difference between the teams in the Spanish capital.

"According to my horoscope prediction, it will be a good week for the star sign Leo," Necid told Sport-Express.

"I will net a hat-trick in Madrid, scoring on the 86th, 88th and 92nd minutes of the match."

Necid has netted 19 league goals in 64 appearances for CSKA since moving to the Russian capital from Slavia Prague in 2009.


Champions League preview: Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow

14 March 2012 12:28

Real Madrid enter their Champions League round-of-16 second-leg against CSKA Moscow in prime position to advance to the last eight.

The La Liga leaders are unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions and enter the clash at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday having secured a 1-1 draw in Russia.

It looked like Jose Mourinho's men would clinch a deserved away win on February 21, but Pontus Wernbloom struck a late equaliser for the hosts.

Having revealed he intends to sign a new deal with the club, Mourinho will be eager for his team to go deep into the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored in the first leg, has netted a stunning 32 league goals and four in the Champions League this season, and has been supported by the likes of Mesut Oezil and Xabi Alonso.

Stopping the likes of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain from scoring will be almost impossible for CSKA, and coach Leonid Slutsky said as much in the lead-up to the second leg.

"Real scores a lot of goals even they play without key players. To play against them at their home will be a spectacle," Slutsky said.

"They have very quick players. So, we need to be very sharp in defence and try not to give them enough space."

"It's way too difficult to stop them from scoring but we will try to get an away goal. A few teams can perform at a high level with a variety of tactical manoeuvres. Moreover, they have some of the best players. However, I still believe in miracles."

Slutsky is still without injured goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, and his team enter the second leg after three consecutive draws in all competitions.

Ivory Coast forward Seydou Doumbia will play a crucial role up front with his side needing at least one goal in Madrid.

But Real Madrid, highly fancied to win the competition, go into their home leg as hot favourites to advance.


We are not afraid of Real, says Slutsky

14 March 2012 00:14

CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky says his side will have no fear of Real Madrid ahead of their Champions League clash on Wednesday.

The Russian side head to the Santiago Bernabeu on level terms, after a stoppage-time strike from Pontus Wernbloom saw them take a 1-1 draw from the first leg of the last 16 tie in Moscow on February 21.

Slutsky knows his side are underdogs heading into the second leg, but insists they will not be daunted by the task at hand.

"We are not afraid because they are experienced and have played many matches at different levels," Slutsky said.

"Our main goal is to move to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and not think about the number of goals that we could concede."

"Real Madrid have had some dangerous moments in La Liga. They would concede a goal or two but would end up winning the match. One of the clear examples was the game against Bilbao so we are looking to pressure them to make mistakes."

"Since Real Madrid is playing at home they will play very aggressively."

"They will try to win the match and of course will want to score goals although they would benefit from a 0-0 score."

Despite the tough task ahead, CSKA midfielder Alan Dzagoev believes it is possible for his side to create an upset.

"We always analyse our rivals matches and it is true that Real Madrid sometimes has trouble with set pieces and that's an advantage for us so we'll have to make the most of it," Dzagoev said.

"Nothing is impossible in life and if we scored against Inter of course we can do so against Real Madrid."

"It's not by chance that we finished the group stage well and this shows that we can play football very well."


Moscow star ready for Real

13 March 2012 16:38

Alan Dzagoev is adamant that CSKA Moscow can pull off a massive Champions League shock by beating Real Madrid on Wednesday.

The Russians have been written off by ahead of their meeting with the Spanish giants at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite holding Jose Mourinho's star-studded team to a 1-1 draw in their first-leg meeting at the Luzhniki Stadium.

However, Dzagoev insists that Leonid Slutsky's troops are ignoring the doubters.

"Madrid may be the favourites, but those who say we have no chance are very wrong," the 21-year-old midfielder told

"There is nothing impossible about this task. None of us are going to just roll over – we actually have victory on our minds."

"There is no mental pressure on us: Madrid are world-class opponents, so the onus is on them."

Dzagoev was unwilling to go so far as to call the meeting with Madrid the biggest game in CSKA's history, but he did admit that dumping the runaway La Liga leaders out of Europe's elite competition would represent a significant achievement for the club.

"Every fixture is important in its own way," the Russia international said.

"We can make history with a positive result at the Bernabeu."

"Madrid have a lot of stars: Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Mesut Ozil, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso. Beating them would give us a lot of positive emotion and momentum."

La Liga table

# Team MP D P
2 19 +20 42
3 19 +21 40
4 18 +15 32
5 19 +5 31
6 19 -5 29

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
3 20 +13 37
4 20 +9 36
5 20 +11 35
6 20 -2 27
7 20 -4 26