CL: Five-star Roma crush CSKA

by | Sep 17, 2014 21:43

Roma demolished CSKA Moscow 5-1 on their Champions League return, but Juan Iturbe and Davide Astori were injured.

They are top on goal difference, as Bayern Munich beat Manchester City with a stoppage-time Jerome Boateng strike.

Roma demolished CSKA Moscow 5-1 on their Champions League return, but Juan Iturbe and Davide Astori were injured.

They are top on goal difference, as Bayern Munich beat Manchester City with a stoppage-time Jerome Boateng strike.

The Giallorossi were back in Europe after two years, while they last played a Champions League fixture in 2010-11. Leandro Castan and Kevin Strootman were injured, while Daniele De Rossi sat out a ban, so Seydou Keita started with Vasilis Torosidis preferred to Ashley Cole. CSKA lost all three of their Champions League away games last season and missed Rasmus Elm and Vitinho with Alan Dzagoev and Pontus Wernbloom suspended. Georgi Schennikov was only fit for the bench.

There was already a great chance within 90 seconds, as a Radja Nainggolan pull-back for Gervinho was crucially intercepted by Mario Fernandes from six yards, practically a goalline clearance.

Juan Manuel Iturbe was making his Champions League debut and scored with his first opportunity. He sprung the offside trap on a Gervinho through ball and kept his cool to side-foot past the goalkeeper.

Moments later it was 2-0 with the same two players combining, but this time Iturbe got down the right and rolled across for Gervinho to prod home from 12 yards despite a shaky first touch.

CSKA broke from a Roma corner and Seydou Doumbia was clear on goal, but Morgan De Sanctis did not fall for his feints and was able to block one-on-one.

Francesco Totti twice had the ball in the net when offside, but Igor Akinfeev – who famously made some howlers at the World Cup – saw his gloves bent back by a fierce Douglas Maicon cross-shot from a tight angle.

There was some bad news, as Iturbe limped off with a right thigh problem and was replaced by Alessandro Florenzi.

Gervinho completed his brace with a trademark move, as he burst down the right on Totti’s pass, cut back to commit a defender into a sliding tackle and drilled a low angled drive across Akinfeev. Roma’s biggest ever Champions League victory was 4-0 over Shakhtar Donetsk in 2006 and they’d already matched that result here after 31 minutes.

Akinfeev made up in part for his earlier error, flapping a Miralem Pjanic deflected effort away one-handed and smothering a long-range Keita strike.

The second half didn’t see Roma let up, as Florenzi got his head to a Torosidis cross, but Sergei Ignashevich had the final touch past Akinfeev.

De Sanctis took the sting out of Roman Eremenko and Dmitri Efremov snapshots, while Akinfeev parried from Pjanic with his thigh. The hosts took their foot off the gas and CSKA tried to get some pride back, as Doumbia volleyed on to the crossbar from a corner.

Some CSKA fans began attacking stewards and throwing flares at the Roma supporters, forcing riot police to enter the stands of the Stadio Olimpico, but calm was quickly restored. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, on loan from Newcastle United, made his Giallorossi debut.

CSKA Moscow did get one back late on, as Maicon and Torosidis did not clear effectively, so Ahmed Musa was quickest to react and fire past a furious De Sanctis.

Georgi Milanov may well have scored a second, as his screamer bounced off the crossbar and on to the ground, but replays suggest it crossed the line. Roma were down to 10 men by this stage, as Davide Astori went off with a suspected sprained knee.

Roma 5-1 CSKA Moscow

Scorers: Iturbe 6 (R), Gervinho 10, 31 (R), Maicon 20 (R), Ignashevich og 50 (R), Musa 82 (C)

Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon, Manolas (Yanga-Mbiwa 77), Astori, Torosidis; Pjanic, Keita, Nainggolan; Iturbe (Florenzi 26), Totti, Gervinho (Ljajic 71)

CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev; Mario Fernandes, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Nababkin (Schennikov 46); Z Tosic (Efremov 54), Natcho, Eremenko (Panchenko 66), G Milanov; Doumbia, Musa

Ref: Borbalan (ESP)

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