CSKA Moscow 1-0 Real Madrid: 5 Talking Points, UEFA Champions League 2018-19
Scorers: Nikola Vlasic (2')
The noose will only tighten for Julen Lopetegui, the Real Madrid coach, as his team slumped to a surprise defeat in Moscow. It was the third successive game, where Los Blancos failed to find the net and despite a showing where they had 26 shots on target, this win is sure to fuel speculation about the squad and the manager.
In fact, one will have to go back a decade and more to find out the last time when Real have not scored in three games. This unenviable record though was achieved under Fabio Capello.
But credit must be due for the CSKA players, who handled themselves admirably in the face of unrelenting Madrid pressure. Despite having only a fraction of the ball, the team did well to stymie the Madrid forwards while at the same time possessing enough guile to trouble the Madrid backline.
CSKA with this victory currently find them on top of Group G and have given themselves a fighting chance of qualifying for the knockout stages ahead of their much more vaunted group rivals in the form of Madrid and Roma.
Here are the five talking points from the game:
#1 Vlasic magic continues
Concentration from the first whistle is one of the basics of football. However, on Tuesday night two of the favourites fluffed their starts. If it was Manchester City in the earlier tie against Hoffenheim, then it was Real Madrid in the latter tie. Someone’s loss is someone else’s gain and Vlasic, the on-loan winger from Everton, was on hand to take advantage.
This happened merely 64 seconds in the game when Toni Kroos gifted the hosts their goal with a terrible back pass that was intercepted by Nikola Vlasic, who duly smashed it passed Keylor Navas from inside the penalty area. In the process, the goal became the fastest Real Madrid have conceded in the Champions League since March 2007. Not a stat to brag about nonetheless.
Vlasic though is having a fruitful campaign having scored his second European goal already. Vlasic was on the scoresheet on matchday 1 opener against Viktoria Plzen as well when he grabbed a 95th-minute equalizer.