UEFA Champions League Group A
CSKA Moscow vs. Manchester United
Venue: VEB Arena
Date: Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Manchester United cruised to a 4-1 away win at CSKA Moscow in Group A of the Champions League.
There was a consolation strike from Konstantin Kuchaev towards the end of proceedings but that did little to dampen an impressive performance and display from the visitors in Russia.
Starting off the move with a fantastic through ball out wide to Martial, Lukaku rounded off the attack by nodding home Martial’s floated cross, rising high over Sergei Ignashevich inside the fourth minute.
Almost an immediate response from the hosts as Alan Dzagoev’s first time effort from a loose ball from the edge of the box needed David De Gea to produce a fine save low to his right.
Good work from Lukaku allowed Mkhitaryan to see a shot deflect behind before Martial’s dangerous low cross from the resulting corner caused problems.
The Armenian Mkhitaryan should’ve scored after Daley Blind’s low cross was met from close range but captain Igor Akinfeev denied United what would have been a deserved second goal.
Mkhitaryan was then upended by Georgi Schennikov right in front of the official behind the goal, and Martial sent Akinfeev the wrong way and calmly slotted home the resulting spot-kick.
Again looking for a response to conceding, Aleksandr Golovin curled just wide of De Gea’s left-hand post.
It was a case of deja vu when a Martial cross was turned home from Lukaku, who took a gamble and was rewarded after Vasili Berezutski’s air kick missed the ball.
Such was the confidence that Mkhitaryan took aim but saw his effort blocked and Akinfeev denied Lukaku’s hat-trick with a decent stop low to his left.
Another flying save from De Gea, highlighting his focus and concentration, saw the Spaniard tip over from Fyodor Chalov.
De Gea then held Vitinho’s swerving strike with Martial’s mazy dribble ending with Ander Herrera’s blocked attempt.
Dzagoev took aim but watched De Gea gather with ease before the interval arrived on a cold night in Moscow.
After the break, Golovin manoeuvred spaced only to curl just over the bar.
Brilliant link-up ended with Lukaku denied his hat-trick once more by Akinfeev with a point blank save after the Belgian set himself from Martial’s precision pass.
From wing-back to wing-back, Blind headed just over from Ashley Young’s whipped delivery before the fourth arrived.
Herrera’s through ball played in Martial only to see his shot saved, but the alert Mkhitaryan fired away the loose ball from the rebound via his weaker foot.
After his goal, Mkhitaryan was replaced by Jesse Lingard, who should’ve scored after receiving Martial’s through ball, but the experienced Akinfeev turned the ball over the bar from close range.
Vitinho flashed an effort wide as the contest was reduced to walking space in the latter stages.
Nemanja Matic did spread an immaculate cross-field pass which substitute Matteo Darmian met on the full, but again Akinfeev thwarted the attempt from close range.
De Gea caught Vitinho’s tame effort and United’s clean sheet was denied when Kuchaev produced a low finish from the angle late on.
There was time for Schennikov to drill a shot into the arms of De Gea but full-time brought to an end a comfortable night’s work for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Four goals scored in a game for the fifth time this season is pleasing to see, with two wins from two in this season’s Champions League to date.
United will travel to Lisbon to take on Benfica in three weeks time, with a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool preceding such fixture.
As for this weekend, Crystal Palace are welcomed at Old Trafford at 3pm on Saturday, where United will look to head into the international break looking to continue this fine run of form.
Manchester United: De Gea; Young (Darmian 67) Bailly, Smalling, Lindelof, Blind; Herrera, Matic; Mkhitaryan (Lingard 60), Lukaku, Martial (Rashford 72).
Subs not used: Romero, Tuanzebe, McTominay, Mata.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev; Vasin, V. Berezutski, Ignashevich; Fernandez, Wernbloom, Dzagoev (Milanov 72), Golovin, Schennikov; Vitinho (Kuchaev 84), Chalov (Zhamaletdinov 67).
Subs not used: Pomazun, A. Berezutski, Nabakin, Natcho.
Manager: Viktor Gonacharenko