Champions League Review: Manchester United 3-3 CSKA Moscow

Before yesterday’s game, all Man United needed to do to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League was to win or draw. Last night there was a six-goal thriller at Old Trafford where things didn’t go the way they were supposed to.


CSKA had got off to the better start but United were starting to control the game, when the visitors took the lead. Man United wasted several good chances before falling behind after Allan Dzogoev scored for CSKA Moscow. Antonio Valencia played a one-two with Luis Nani, he got the ball to Michael Owen but he failed to get the ball past the keeper Igor Akinfeev.

Owen had another chance to open up the scoring when the ball deflected to him but he again shot straight at the keeper. Federico Macheda was starting upfront alongside Owen after Dimitar Berbatov was injured and new father Wayne Rooney was on the bench. Macheda came very close when his shot from outside the penalty area flew just wide of the goal.

United were made to pay after Tomas Necid got the ball to Dzogoev, Jonny Evans was with the player but from a tight angle, Dzogoev got his shot past Evans and Edwin Van Der Sar and into the back of the net to give CSKA the lead.

Half an hour into the game and United were back into it. Valencia crossed the ball into the area, it hit Nani’s foot and fell into the path of Owen who slotted the ball past the keeper and got United an equaliser

A few minutes later and things had turned again. This time Necid passed the ball to Milos Krasic, United players thought he was offside but he wasn’t, he went round Van Der Sar and stuck the ball into the goal. United players had stopped thinking that he was offside and that just shows why you should play to the whistle.

United had two more great chances before half time. Keeper Akinfeev saved Macheda’s shot and the keeper parried a powerful Paul Scholes strike wide.

United were the stronger team going in to half time so some Man United fans were thinking that we could possibly get an equaliser and go on to get a winner. That wasn’t going to happen, early on in the second half, CSKA went 3-1 up at Old Trafford.

CSKA had a free kick, the ball flew over one of United’s shortest players on the pitch Fabio da Silva and Vasili Berezutsky headed it past Van Der Sar at the far post.

Not long after that, there was a shocking decision by the referee; he made one of the most ridiculous decisions I have seen. Darren Fletcher was about to shoot at goal when he had his legs taken away from him, inside the penalty area. Instead of awarding a stonewall penalty, the referee booked Fletcher for simulation.

United needed something to change so Sir Alex Ferguson brought Wayne Rooney on for Nani and Patrice Evra on for Fabio.

Scholes had another long strike saved by the keeper, this time it was from a freekick, Evra went in for the follow up but that was saved aswell.

80 minutes into the game, Owen had another chance to pull one back from United. This time he was six-yards out but keeper Akinfeev kept the ball out of the net and he also blocked Rooney’s follow up.

United were getting closer and closer to getting a second goal, Macheda hit the post and Rooney’s shot rebounded away. 84 minutes in and United were back into the game. Scholes put the ball past Akinfeev from a free kick to make the game Man United 2-3 CSKA Moscow.

The game went into four minutes of stoppage time, on the 90 minute mark United’s comeback was complete. Valencia’s off target shot took a big deflection off a CSKA player and past Akinfeev to make it 3-3.

CSKA finished the game with 10-men after Deividas Semberas was shown a second yellow card after an off-the-ball incident between him and substitute Gabriel Obertan. Both players were booked but it was Semberas' second so he was off.

United got themselves a draw, eventually, and have now qualified for the knockout rounds for the Champions League. Chelsea drew 2-2 out in Spain against Atletico Madrid last night, which means they have also qualified.

Next up for United is Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

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