It was a special evening at the CSKA Arena, as AS Monaco and the Russian outfit met for the very first time in European competition. There were no surprises in the Monegasque line-up at kick-off, with Leonardo Jardim opting for his evolving 4-4-2 with Raggi and Sidibé at full back, Fabinho and Bakayoko in front of the defence and Valère Germain up front. While the visitors saw more of the ball in the early stages, the chances were Russian as CSKA’s counter-attacks caused AS Monaco problems. And the opener came in the 34th minute. Fernandes sent Tosic into space down the right, and the CSKA winger held off the challenge of Jemerson to get his shot away. Subasic pushed the ball to the feet of Lacina Traoré who had the simple task of sliding home to make it 160 to the Muscovites.
Traoré scores against his old club
On loan from AS Monaco at CSKA Moscow for the season, the Ivorian striker certainly hadn’t helped his former teammates’ cause. To make matters worse, Moutinho picked up an injury and was forced off, with Carrillo replacing him and joining Valère Germain up front. Behind at the break, the Monegasques put on a united front as they looked to pick a way through the Russian wall, while avoiding being caught on the break.
Dominating a game is not the same as winning it, as Leonardo Jardim knows. The more attack-minded Mendy was sent on for Raggi at left-back, with Sidibé moving across to the right. And it was the former Marseille man who came to the fore in the 70th minute, as Bakayoko won the ball in an advanced position and put Mendy through in the area, but Akinfeev denied the Monaco man.
… before the equaliser!
Having retreated into their own half, the Russians were massed in front of Akinfeev’s goal, with the home ‘keeper making a string of fine saves throughout the game. A few minutes after coming on, Mbappé lost his man and played in Carrillo. Akinfeev deflected the ball which fell to Silva, who placed an inch-perfect shot into the far corner (87 mins). The final score was one apiece, with the Monegasques claiming an excellent point in Russia. Round two of the double header between these teams will take place on Wednesday 2 November at the Stade Louis-II.