Football

CSKA keep Madrid tie alive

CSKA keep Madrid tie alive (©GettyImages)
CSKA keep Madrid tie alive (©GettyImages).

CSKA Moscow proved to be no pushovers for heavy favorites Real Madrid last night, as Pontus Wernbloom's injury time equaliser kept the last 16 clash in the balance.

Cristiano Ronaldo had put the away side in front inside the half hour mark, but the Russian sides persistence paid off as Wernbloom volleyed in the leveller, leaving Jose Mourinho's men a nervy home tie to progress.

After the match Mourinho looked for positives from the result and felt his side can finish the job in the return leg at the Santiago Bernabéu.

He Said: "Without doing anything out of this world we had the chances to score a second goal. I'm frustrated but it is not a bad result. I am not happy but I am not too sad either.

“It's not a drama. It happened to us last year in Lyon and we got through to the quarter-finals then."

On the artificial surface at the Luzhniki Stadium, the Galacticos never really looked in danger after Ronaldo drilled home his 36th goal of the season to give the visitors the lead.

From there on it was comfortable, midfielder Xabi Alonso providing his usual solid passing display and appeared to be in a confident mood after the match ruling out any excuses.

The ex-Liverpool man said: “Of course, we were expecting to get a better result and score a second goal.

“But a draw is not bad and we can’t complain. The cold was not a great problem even if the grass was a little different. I noticed that we took some time to adapt, particularly with our passing.

“Our opponents did well despite not posing us many problems, but I’m confident we can progress in the return leg.”

Los Blancos looked to double their lead in the early stages of the second-half with 25-year-old forward, with Jose Callejon ruing a couple of missed opportunities.

Ronaldo also squandered a chance to net his second of the match as he dragged a shot past the post from 15 yards.

From then on the game looked to be fizzling out to an away Madrid win with neither side creating any clear cut chances until Wernbloom sent the home fans into raptures.

In his first appearance for the club, the Swede avoided the Madrid defence to poke home from six yards, giving his side a glimmer of hope in the tie.

And that is how the match ended, one a piece to take to the return leg on the 14th of March with current La Liga leaders Madrid looking to book their place in the quarter-finals and win their tenth European Cup.

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