MX23RW : Wednesday, September 26 11:09:45

Match Analysis: CSKA Moscow 1-1 Manchester United

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at the 1-1 draw between CSKA Moscow and Manchester United in Group B of the Champions League.

Anthony Martial conceded a penalty before scoring the equaliser for Manchester United to earn them a 1-1 draw away to CSKA Moscow in Group B of the Champions League this evening.

The world's most expensive teenager was penalised for a handball in the first half before David de Gea saved Roman Eremenko's spot kick, only for Seydou Doumbia to tuck home the rebound.

However, Martial would atone for his earlier error shortly after the hour mark when he stooped to nod Antonio Valencia's cross in off the post.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at whether the spoils deserved to be shared at the Arena Khimki.

Match statistics

CSKA MOSCOW
Shots: 7
On target: 4
Possession: 28%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 9

MAN UTD
Shots: 7
On target: 3
Possession: 72%
Corners: 1
Fouls: 11

Was the result fair?

Yes. This wasn't the best game in all honesty, and neither side can really say that they did enough to win the match on the night. CSKA were certainly the more dangerous of the two sides in the first half, with the likes of Doumbia, Ahmed Musa and in particular Mario Fernandes looking threatening every time they got the ball. However, that exciting football was nowhere to be seen after the restart as United sapped the life out of the hosts with their metronomic passing.

Most of the statistics above are fairly even, and that accurately represents what was, over the course of the 90 minutes, an even contest. The one glaring exception is the possession, which United completely dominated from start to finish. CSKA didn't see much of the ball in the first half, but what they did have they used far more effectively than United. They weren't able to do that after the break, though, and while United were still pretty uninspiring in possession, it allowed them to control the game.

It's amazing what a goal can do at times. United were frustrating, unimaginative and boring in possession before their equaliser, but the change to the scoreline suddenly made the same style a worthwhile exercise to gain control of the contest. In the end, a draw was a fair result, but it is a better scoreline for United than CSKA with the games still to come. Louis van Gaal will be fairly pleased with a point, so long as they make the most of the return leg at home.

CSKA's performance

A draw at home to United is certainly not the worst result for Leonid Slutsky's side, but with away games against tonight's opponents and PSV Eindhoven still to come in a group where the home teams have picked up the points so far, it may not prove to be enough. The frustration for CSKA is that United were there for the taking tonight. This was not the same team that blew Everton away at the weekend, and CSKA appeared to get their tactics spot on in the first half, deservedly going into the break ahead.

They were content to let United have more of the ball, but as soon as the hosts won it back, they were straight at the visiting defence. Fernandes got forward at every available opportunity, which in turn pinned Martial back. That led directly to the penalty as Martial's defensive experience was laid bare when he lifted his hand in the area to give away the spot kick. De Gea did his best to keep it out, but Doumbia reacted quickest to convert the rebound.

In the second half, CSKA were never really able to get going. Over the course of the 90 minutes they came close through Eremenko and Musa, in addition to the goal, but aside from that they struggled to pose a serious threat to De Gea's goal, even during their good spell in the first half. That was simply not enough for them to earn the points tonight, but they did show signs that they are capable of causing problems and the return leg at Old Trafford in a fortnight is by no means a foregone conclusion.

Man Utd's performance

It must be so frustrating for fans of Manchester United to see their side win 3-0 at a ground like Goodison Park and then, just four days later, put in a performance like this. They may have come away with a good point from the Russian capital, but it was not a good performance tonight, and the criticisms are nothing new this season. The fact that they had 72% possession yet only managed three shots on target must be an area of concern for Van Gaal, whose side really struggled to break CSKA down.

The first half was particularly lacklustre from a United perspective as they passed the ball around without any real incision or creative thought behind the passes. They played at a pedestrian pace, which allowed a disciplined CSKA defence to stick to their shape and comfortably keep the visitors at bay. It wasn't until the hour mark that United actually created a chance, and the 10-minute spell that followed was the only time throughout that they looked like scoring.

As mentioned, their slow, methodical passing was more acceptable at 1-1, but they didn't actually change their style of play at all. Throughout it was uninspiring from Van Gaal's side, who sometimes play as though possession alone will win you the match. CSKA defended well tonight, but the visitors made it easy for them, and you have to assume that United would have created more chances had they actually injected a bit of pace into their passing now and again. The result itself is satisfactory, but if they play like this in the derby on Sunday then they may not get away with a point.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Sergei Ignashevich: Fernandes looked on course to claim this award at the halfway stage, but he faded in the second 45 minutes. Ignashevich, on the other hand, put in an accomplished display for the full 90 minutes to keep Wayne Rooney at bay. The veteran defender never looked troubled and, while United didn't ask enough questions of him, he dealt with everything that came his way expertly.

Biggest gaffe

Martial has to get this for his handball in the penalty area that led to the opening goal. The youngster was being pinned back by Fernandes and found himself in his own box, putting his hand up and making contact with the ball as the full-back flicked it over his head. De Gea almost saved his teammate with the penalty stop, until Doumbia followed in.

Referee performance

Carlos Velasco's biggest call this evening was the awarding of that penalty, and he had little choice but to point to the spot. CSKA felt that they should have had another penalty in the second half too after Marcos Rojo had handled accidentally, but this time he waved the claims away.

What next?

CSKA Moscow: CSKA are back in domestic action on Sunday as they face Terek Grozny looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Man Utd: United, meanwhile, take on local rivals Manchester City in Sunday's top-of-the-table derby.

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Manchester United's players celebrate after Manchester United's French forward Anthony Martial scored a goal during the UEFA Champions League group B football match between PFC CSKA Moscow and FC Manchester United at the Arena Khimki stadium outside Mosco
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