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What Was Said: Manchester United made it look easy against CSKA Moscow, says Jose Mourinho

Manchester United put on a great display in Moscow in the UEFA Champions League, beating CSKA Moscow 4-1 at the VEB Arena on Wednesday evening. Romelu Lukaku scored the opening goal in the fourth minute of the match, a second coming from the spot in the 18th minute through Anthony Martial, a penalty awarded after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was fouled in the box. Lukaku scored against before the end of the first half, Martial assisting both of his goals with the Red Devils heading into the break 3-0 to the good.

In the 57th minute, Mkhitaryan scored the rebound after Martial had a fierce shot on goal, putting United 4-0 before the hour mark. That was where the scoring had finished for United, despite Lukaku and other attempting to score more goals, the Belgian missing out on a hat-trick. The home side scored in the 90th minute, beating David De Gea, who had kept the Russian side out of his goal for much of the game, despite not having to do much. It was a great result on the road for United, two matches played, six points in the bag, top of the group, for now at least.

Speaking after the 4-1 victory in Moscow, Jose Mourinho, primarily speaking to BT Sport, but reported by the official Manchester United website, the Portuguese manager spoke about various hot topics from the victory, starting with how his United team made the victory look easy…

“I think we made it look easy. We started so strongly, I think we surprised them with our attitude and we were really strong. We killed the game. They didn’t look as good as they are, but I think because of us.”

Mourinho then spoke about how the result was unexpected, especially after United’s previous trips to Russia, the match last season against Rostov in the UEFA Europa League being just one of them, but also United’s previous encounters with CSKA Moscow, despite them not being played in the same stadium. The manager said:

“It was unexpected, 3-0 at half-time was unexpected. But we started strongly, we were really strong, we pressed them, we recovered the ball and our counter-attack was always fast and dangerous. In the first 30 minutes we had four shots, three goals and the goalkeeper made a phenomenal save from Mkhitaryan’s first-post shot. So we started really strongly and by winning 3-0 we had the game in our hands. [Then] it was just control, so it was really good.”

The Portuguese manager then praised start striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored his ninth and tenth goals of the season, bearing in mind this was his ninth match of the season. The Belgian opened the scoring, finding another in the 27th minute with United playing like it was just a walk in the park. Mourinho said:

“He’s having a great record. We know that he’s a very good player, he can score lots of goals and playing in a team surrounded by quality players, [it is] even easier to do that. But I have to admit that he’s scoring really important goals and almost every game. For me, the important thing is not that [how much he costs] but the important thing is two matches, six points and a good position in the Champions League. Four more matches to play but we start really strongly and we are almost there.”

Anthony Martial, the Man of the Match for me, received some praise from the manager also. The Frenchman was involved in all four goals, scoring from the penalty, assisting both of Lukaku’s goals and his shot in the 57th minute was parried and scored by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, showing a commanding performance up front for the Frenchman, which is something the Manchester United supporters will be proud of. Mourinho, speaking about the prolific Frenchman, said:

“Yes, he is understanding and appreciating what I want. I think the game also adapted to his qualities, the way we played adapted to his qualities too. He had lots of freedom and lots of support, lots of quality around him too and I’m happy.”

On the subject of PlayStation football, Mourinho had something to finish with, saying:

“I didn’t see that [PlayStation football] as much, just a little bit of relaxation, a reaction by the home team with the normal pride to try to score, to try to have a different result and we just relaxed a little bit. We had a couple of good chances but I think it’s normal. We have a game on Saturday. Liverpool are luckier than us, they play Tuesday and Sunday, we have to play on Wednesday and on Saturday at 3pm. So I think it’s normal, a little bit of relaxation.”

Manchester United have another Premier League match at Old Trafford on Saturday, against bottom of the table Crystal Palace who had lost all six matches played in the league this season, failing to score a single goal. It could be a dangerous time to play Palace, reeling from a 5-0 humiliation against Manchester City last weekend and seeking improvement. The United who beat CSKA Moscow should give Palace nightmares, more of the same they have suffered in the six matches played in the league, only winning the two matches played in the Carabao Cup this season, which is not a good place to be in. Relegation could be something Palace suffer this season, which would be a shame for Timothy Fosu-Mensah, but it is experience he is there for, not results – he cannot play on Saturday anyway. Come on United!

MOTM: Martial the standout player, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku both shone on Moscow

Manchester United beat CSKA Moscow 4-0 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening. Jose Mourinho played three at the back, which made his team more potent in attack, it working that well that United broke the deadlock in the fourth minute with Romelu Lukaku scoring goal number nine of the season. Anthony Martial, the provider of Lukaku’s opening goal, scored a penalty in the 18th minute after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was found in the box.

Lukaku put United 3-0 up in the 27th minute, Martial assisting again, the Belgian’s tenth goal of the season. The home side had a few chances, David De Gea being the difference. Mkhitaryan hit United’s fourth of the game, latching onto Martial’s shot, deflected by the keeper, just before being replaced by Jesse Lingard. Lukaku had a few chances to complete his hat-trick, it not working in his favour. Matteo Darmian replaced Ashley Young in the 66th minute with Mourinho using his squad depth to maintain freshness.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a great match against CSKA Moscow, punishing the Russian team with the space they allowed him, The Armenian had four shots on goal, scoring once, seeing another saved, the two other shots blocked. Mkhitaryan’s passing was great too, an 85% pass accuracy which saw United dominate with the ball. The Armenian was floating throughout the midfield, helping his team create chances and helping with the fluidity. Mkhitaryan won the penalty in the 18th minute of the match, scored by Martial, scoring United’s fourth goal in the 57th minute, just before being replaced by Lingard. Mkhitaryan won two in three tackles, and other than that did not need to get involved defensively as United had this in the bag from the first goal in the fourth minute.

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial played a cracking game of football in Moscow on Wednesday evening. Two assists, one goal – a penalty and a dominating performance for United in the Russian capital. The Frenchman played 72 minutes before being replaced by Marcus Rashford, with United 4-0 up at the time and still seeking more goals, which failed to come. Martial had two shots on goal, his penalty which was scored and the shot in the 57th minute, which was saved, Mkhitaryan striking the rebound from Igor Akinfeev into the back of the net. Martial is having a great second season under Jose Mourinho, showing his true potential. 84% of his passes were successful, he created five chances, two being turned into goals by Romelu Lukaku. Martial had nine take-ons, winning six of them, also winning one of four aerial duels in the match.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku continued his goalscoring exploits in Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, scoring the opening goal in the fourth minute of the match, completing his brace in the 27th minute with Anthony Martial providing both, the Frenchman scoring a penalty in between the two goals. Lukaku did not get his hat-trick, but it will come, in time at least. The Belgian had four shots on goal, all on target, scoring twice and seeing two saved. Lukaku’s passing was good at 82%, showing how dominant Manchester United were against the Russian side. He created two chances, neither turning into a goal, but they kept United pressuring their opposition. Lukaku won 50% of hie aerial duels, expecting him to win more because of his height and build, but he did enough to get United the all important three pointss

Conclusion

Manchester United have dominated this season, scoring goal aplenty, dominating in a number of matches, yet still not tested in the Premier League by a team in the top six last season – the first chance of that could be against Liverpool next month. United dominated CSKA Moscow, which was not expected in the lead up to the match, based on previous visits to Russia with United heading home largely frustrated. Four goals scored, again, another goal conceded – the first in the Champions League this season, six points out of six in the elite European competition and a double-header against Benfica in Lisbon and Manchester coming up before the end of October, which cold see United well-placed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League this season, if Benfica continue to frustrate, losing two in two with everything to play for when United rock up in town on the 18th October.

Report: Martial and Lukaku sink the Russian’s with Manchester United reigning supreme in the Champions League

Manchester United beat CSKA Moscow 4-1 at the VEB Arena in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening, with Romelu Lukaku scoring a brace, Anthony Martial scoring a penalty and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring a close-range rebound after the Frenchman saw his attempt saved. Martial assisted for both of Lukaku’s goals, the Belgian scoring his ninth and tenth goals for United. Konstantin Kuchaev scored a late consolation for the home side.

Jose Mourinho made a few changes against CSKA Moscow, his formation being the biggest with three at the back. United started well, drawing first blood in the fourth minute of the match with Anthony Martial setting up Romelu Lukaku with a cross, the Belgian striker glancing his header into the back of Igor Akinfeev’s net, scoring his ninth goal in nine games for his club. The home side tried to get level again minutes later, forcing a save from David De Gea, a corner being given away to the home side – which came to nothing.

In the thirteenth minute of the match, after some good interplay, United had broken forward, playing passes across the pitch. Ashley Young played a pass, Daley Blind receiving the ball on the left flank, playing a pass into the box for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to force a save from Akinfeev, which was close to becoming United’s second goal of the evening. United won a penalty in the 18th minute of the match, the assistant behind the goal line giving the penalty after Mkhitaryan was fouled inside the box. Martial took the penalty, 2-0 to United.

United won a corner in the 22nd minute of the match, which Blind took, Chris Smalling getting a good head on the ball but the home side gaining ground and taking possession, trying to string some attacking play together to pressure United, getting a shot, through Aleksandr Golovin, which was wide of the target. On the 26th minute, United scored again, Lukaku against after a defensive error, the Belgian striker pouncing on the ball and beating Akinfeev from close-range. United were 3-0 up and in command of this fixture.

CSKA Moscow broke forward in the 37th minute of the match, getting a shot on goal with De Gea putting in a great save, sending the ball over the crossbar for a corner. Mkhitaryan has had the freedom of the pitch s far this evening, rarely challenged, other than the penalty, showing his pace, flair, and ability to turn anything into a credible attack. De Gea had to make another save at the end of the first half, nothing testing though. At the end of the first half United led 3-0 with Lukaku scoring his ninth and tenth goals this season.

At the start of the second half, Golovin had a chance to get his side back into the game, sending his shot over the crossbar. Minutes later, Lukaku had the chance to seal his first hat-trick for United, having five hat-tricks during his career, four for clubs and one for Belgium, Akinfeev denying the Belgian from taking home the match ball (so far) this evening. Daley Blind had a chance to get something in the 51st minute, a cross from Young, heading inside the box, the keeper ready with the save, the ball going over the bar.

In the 57th minute of the match, United were playing with the Russian side. Romelu Lukaku had chances to complete his hat-trick, failing to do so but this time Martial broke into the box, firing at goal and Mkhitaryan running in and clearing up from the rebound putting United 4-0 up and cruising to victory. This was Mkhitaryan’s 50th match for United. In the 60th minute, Mourinho made his first change with Jesse Lingard replacing Mkhitaryan. Lingard had a chance immediately, it not going to plan for United’s fifth.

Mourinho made his second change of the evening in the 66th minute of the match with Matteo Darmian replacing Young. In the 72nd minute, Mourinho made his third and final change with Marcus Rashford replacing Martial. After the change, CSKA broke through, getting something together at the edge of United’s box, not causing any real danger for the Red Devils who avoided (so far) conceding a goal in their second Champions League match. A clash of heads saw Lingard needing some treatment heading into the last 15 minutes.

CSKA Moscow scored in the 90th minute of the match, not giving up despite being 4-0 down since just before the hour. It was United’s first conceded goal in the Champions League this season, De Gea unable to do anything to keep Konstantin Kuchaev’s effort out. The supporters, or those left at least showed excitement with the goal after what would have been a tough night in Moscow for them. A 4-1 victory for United, another three points in the Champions League, now the side will look ahead to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Goals: Romelu Lukaku 4′, 27′, Anthony Martial 18′ penalty, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 57′

Assists: Anthony Martial 4′, 27′

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Bailly, Smalling; Young (Darmian 66′), Matic, Herrera, Blind; Mkhitaryan (Lingard 60′), Martial (Rashford 72′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Tuanzebe; Mata, McTominay

Starting XI: 3-4-3 for Manchester United in Moscow; Lukaku leads the line – goals are coming…

Manchester United face CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday evening, the second group stage match in the elite European competition this season. United beat FC Basel 3-0 at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, with the Russian side beating Benfica 2-1 in Lisbon. CSKA will be seeking a good start in Europa this season after having played 17 matches so far this season. Jose Mourinho’s side will be seeking just as good a start, aiming to have six points on the board by the close of play. United have had a great start to the season, sitting second in the Premier League after five wins, three of them 4-0 scorelines, and one draw in the league, a win in the Champions League a fortnight ago and a 4-1 victory over Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup last week.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Bailly, Smalling;

Young, Matic, Herrera, Blind;

Mkhitaryan, Martial;

Lukaku

Substitutes:

Romero; Darmian, Tuanzebe; Mata, Lingard, McTominay; Rashford

Manchester United and CSKA Moscow have played four competitive matches in the history of both clubs – the first match being played on the 21st October 2009, resulting in a 1-0 victory for United, courtesy of an Antonio Valencia strike in the last four minutes of the match. United have won twice and drawn twice, not losing to the Russia side, which is some good form, despite only four matches played. At Old Trafford on the 3rd November 2009, it was a 3-3 draw between the two sides with Michael Owen (29) and Paul Scholes (84) scoring goals which saw United come from behind, still 3-2 down with six minutes remaining, Georgi Schennikov scoring an own goal in the 90th minute to level the score. Back in the 2015/16 season, United were drawn with the Russian side in the group stages of the Champions League again, drawing 1-1 in Moscow, Anthony Martial scoring the goal, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford, Wayne Rooney scoring that goal.

Preview: Mourinho light in midfield but strong enough to take on CSKA in Moscow

CSKA Moscow -v- Manchester United

UEFA Champions League 2017/18

VEB Arena, Moscow, Russia

Wednesday 27th September 2017; KO 19:45 BST

Live on BT Sport HD in the United Kingdom

Manchester United face CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday evening, the second group stage match in the elite European competition this season. United beat FC Basel 3-0 at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, with the Russian side beating Benfica 2-1 in Lisbon. CSKA will be seeking a good start in Europa this season after having played 17 matches so far this season. Jose Mourinho’s side will be seeking just as good a start, aiming to have six points on the board by the close of play. United have had a great start to the season, sitting second in the Premier League after five wins, three of them 4-0 scorelines, and one draw in the league, a win in the Champions League a fortnight ago and a 4-1 victory over Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup last week.

Romelu Lukaku has scored eight goals in the eight matches he has played a part in, missing the Burton game last week, which shows his confidence is high. United have scored goals galore this season, from all over the pitch – meaning the team’s confidence will be sky-high too. Injuries are something Mourinho will have to content ahead of the CSKA match with Paul Pogba already out of action and Marouane Fellaini on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury against Southampton at the weekend. Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones will be rested for this match, as the manager confirmed, which will see the likes of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof getting a chance to impress the manager, with both featuring in the midweek matches against Basel and Burton over the last fortnight. Mourinho, speaking about his past meetings with CSKA Moscow, said:

“I play against CSKA with Real Madrid, with Inter, with Chelsea and now with Manchester United, so it’s something normal in my Champions League career. To be honest, I always like to be back because it [Moscow] is a beautiful city. Every time I come it’s better and better and better so I have to say that it’s a pleasure. Opponents wise, I think it’s the best CSKA that I’m going to play against. I think it’s the best team that I face with CSKA as an opponent.”

Previous Matches: Manchester United unbeaten against CSKA Moscow; winning once in two matches in Russia

Manchester United and CSKA Moscow have played four competitive matches in the history of both clubs – the first match being played on the 21st October 2009, resulting in a 1-0 victory for United, courtesy of an Antonio Valencia strike in the last four minutes of the match. United have won twice and drawn twice, not losing to the Russia side, which is some good form, despite only four matches played. At Old Trafford on the 3rd November 2009, it was a 3-3 draw between the two sides with Michael Owen (29) and Paul Scholes (84) scoring goals which saw United come from behind, still 3-2 down with six minutes remaining, Georgi Schennikov scoring an own goal in the 90th minute to level the score. Back in the 2015/16 season, United were drawn with the Russian side in the group stages of the Champions League again, drawing 1-1 in Moscow, Anthony Martial scoring the goal, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford, Wayne Rooney scoring that goal.

Form: CSKA Moscow could be the fitter team having played 17 matches this season; United have better results and are high in confidence

Manchester United started their season well, beating West Ham United and Swansea City with 4-0 scorelines, then beating Leicester City 2-0 ahead of the international break. Stoke City was United’s test immediately after the break, suffering a 2-2 draw. United then faces FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League, winning 3-0 before facing Everton in the league, winning 4-0 again. United saw fixtures coming thick and fast in September with the Carabao Cup coming into play with United facing Championship club Burton Albion, winning 4-1 and conceding the first goal at Old Trafford this season. United continued their unbeaten form with a 1-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday, not playing well but turning the 0-0 draw in the fixture last season in to a match which earned United another three points, keeping the chase on league leaders, Manchester City.

CSKA Moscow sits fourth in the Russian Premier League after a mixed season. For Viktor Goncharenko’s side, the season started on the 15th July with a 3-1 victory over Anzhi Makhachkala, followed by a 3-1 defeat to Lokomotiv Moscow then back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over SKA-Khabarovsk. A 2-1 defeat to Rubin Kazan was followed by back to back league victories, the same 2-1 scoreline against Tosno and Spartak Moscow. A 0-0 with Ural Yekaterinburg, followed by a 1-0 defeat to Akhmat Grozny came ahead of back to back wins again with a 1-0 victory over Amkar Perm and a 2-0 victory over Rostov. At the weekend, a 0-0 draw with Dynamo Moscow saw CSKA keep hold of fourth place for three successive matches. In the Champions League, CSKA had to qualify, beating AEK Athens 3-0 on aggregate, also beating Young Boys by the same aggregate scoreline to earn a place in the group stage. In the Russian Cup, CSKA were beaten 1-0 by Avangard Kursk at the round of 32 stage. A fortnight ago, CSKA beat Benfica 2-1 in the first group stage match of the season, a good start the Russia side will want to continue.

Team News: Plenty of absentees for Manchester United with injuries and rotation but Jose Mourinho is a man with a plan!

Manchester United have a mini injury crisis in midfield with Paul Pogba out with a hamstring injury, not knowing when he will return to action, Marouane Fellaini suffering an ankle injury away to Southampton on Saturday – not travelling to Moscow on Monday, and Michael Carrick also not travelling with the squad. Antonio Valencia will also miss the UEFA Champions League group stage match as he has been rested ahead of the visit of Crystal Palace to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Jose Mourinho’s side will have enough players to face the Russian side with Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay and Joel Pereira all travelling to Moscow – perhaps some, or all will get a run out on Wednesday evening? In his press conference ahead of the match on Tuesday, Mourinho confirmed:

“I won’t have Fellaini, I won’t have Pogba, we won’t have Carrick, so all three midfield players that we lose for this match,” the boss told reporters. “So there are not many solutions, but we try not to focus on individual battles or in specific areas on the pitch. We try to focus on the globality [team as a whole] and we are going to have a team with quality, with balance, to try to win the match which is our objective.”

Predicted Starting XI: A strong side featuring Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to reign supreme in Moscow?

Match Prediction: Manchester United to leave the Russian capital with a smash and grab?

CSKA Moscow 1-2 Manchester United

copyright: JW