11202017

Lukaku scores twice as Man Utd hammer CSKA

Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku has now scored 10 goals in nine games for Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Manchester United thrashed CSKA Moscow to maintain their 100% record in Group A of the Champions League.

The Red Devils had won just one of their previous 10 away games in the competition, but two goals in the opening 18 minutes set up a very comfortable night at the VEB Arena.

Lukaku headed in a cross from Anthony Martial, who went from provider to goalscorer by converting a penalty after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was brought down.

And, in the city in which their third and most recent European Cup triumph came in 2008, United effectively ended the game as a contest on 26 minutes.

Aided by some dreadful defending from the home side, Lukaku slotted in from a couple of yards out – his 10th goal in nine games since joining from Everton in the summer.

Mkhitaryan added the fourth from close range and United could have scored more – Lukaku was twice denied by brilliant stops from Igor Akinfeev, who also thwarted Jesse Lingard from inside the six-yard box.

Speaking after the game, Lukaku said: “I just work hard and will keep on going. The team is doing well but we must improve. I just want to win trophies.”

CSKA did have chances, with the excellent David de Gea twice saving sharply from Alan Dzagoev and tipping over a Fedor Chalov shot.

And Konstantin Kuchaev slid in a well-taken consolation late on to give the boisterous home fans something to cheer.

In the group’s other game, former Norwich striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored a penalty as Basel trounced 10-man Benfica 5-0.

United punish ageing backline

Romelu Lukaku<!–

Lukaku had four shots against CSKA, all of which were on target. Two ended up in the back of the net, but he was denied a hat-trick by Akinfeev

CSKA stalwarts Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich and Vasili Berezutski have played more than 1,500 club games between them and earned a total of 322 Russia caps.

But they were badly exposed by United, and the hosts have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their past 30 Champions League games. Akinfeev, meanwhile, has gone 41 straight games without a shutout.

Ignashevich looked all of his 38 years as he failed to get off the ground to meet a cross into the box and allowed Lukaku to head home at the back post.

Berezutski, three years younger than his defensive colleague, then failed to connect properly with a Daley Blind cross, and his miscue allowed Lukaku the easiest of finishes.

Between those two goals Georgi Schennikov chopped down Mkhitaryan with a senseless sliding tackle inside the box, with Martial coolly converting the spot-kick.

Referee Jonas Eriksson had initially waved play on, but then awarded the penalty on the advice of his additional assistant referee standing by the goal.

With the game won, Mkhitaryan converted into an open net after Akinfeev’s parry into the danger area from Martial’s shot.

No grey away day for United

Manchester United<!–

United were last seen in a grey kit over two decades ago

United lined up in their grey third kit – a colour they have not worn since a Premier League trip to Southampton in April 1996.

The Saints led that game 3-0 at half-time, prompting the United players to change their shirts as they claimed they could not see each other.

Against CSKA, there were no such problems as they enjoyed another fruitful trip to eastern Europe – they are now unbeaten in six away games against Russian opposition.

Midfielder Ander Herrera, impressive for much of last season but reduced to a fringe role so far this campaign, was given a fourth start in the absence of Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick.

The Spaniard quietly went about his business, neat and tidy in possession, attempting 102 passes in the match, the same as midfield partner Nemanja Matic. Herrera also won the ball back 11 times and made three interceptions – more than any other player.

The only blemish for manager Jose Mourinho will be the goal his side conceded in the 90th minute.

United looked to be on their way to a seventh clean sheet from 10 games, when 19-year-old Kuchaev struck his first goal for CSKA.

Analysis

Manchester United celebrate<!–

United were missing a number of first-team players for the trip to Moscow

BBC Radio 5 live’s Alistair Bruce-Ball in Moscow:

Another four-goal show from Manchester United, again looking so much more ruthless than last season, but it is difficult to assess their long-term prospects in the Champions League from this game because CSKA’s defending was so lamentably bad.

What has been proven again though is that United’s squad is very deep – they came here without the likes of Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

They also have one of the world’s best goalkeepers in David de Gea, who made two top-class saves in the first half.

They should cruise through this group and with Jose Mourinho at the helm they will be a match for most teams in knockout football.

Man of the match – Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Anthony Martial<!–

Scored one goal, had a hand in the other three and gave the CSKA defence a torrid time with his skilful running and intelligent play

‘Almost there’

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho told BT Sport: “We started so strong, we surprised them with our attitude. They didn’t look as good as they are, because of us.

“Lukaku has a great record, we know he is a very good player who can score lots of goals. He is surrounded by quality players. I have to admit that he is scoring really important goals nearly every game. We are in a good position with four matches to play.

“We are almost there. There was not so much Playstation football tonight, just a little bit of relaxation. That is normal.”

What next?

United will be hoping to secure another big win on Saturday (kick-off 15:00 BST) when they host the Premier League’s bottom side Crystal Palace, who are yet to win a point or score a goal in the top flight this season.

Marvellous Martial – the stats

  • Excluding qualifiers, this was Manchester United’s first away Champions League win since November 2013 when they won 5-0 at Bayer Leverkusen.
  • Romelu Lukaku is just the second Manchester United player to score in their first two Champions League appearances for the club after Dimitar Berbatov.
  • Anthony Martial has been involved in six goals in his last three Manchester United games (three goals, three assists) and has both scored and assisted in each of his last two.
  • Both Manchester clubs have been 3-0 up inside the first half hour of their away Champions League matches this season – City were 3-0 up by 25 minutes against Feyenoord, while United were 3-0 up after 26 minutes.
  • CSKA Moscow conceded four goals in a home European match for the first time in their entire history.
  • Jose Mourinho has won his last two away Champions League matches by an aggregate score of 8-1. The other being a 4-0 win against Maccabi Tel Aviv as Chelsea boss in November 2015.

Live Text

Match ends, CSKA Moscow 1, Manchester United 4.

Second Half ends, CSKA Moscow 1, Manchester United 4.

Attempt saved. Georgy Schennikov (CSKA Moscow) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, CSKA Moscow. Conceded by Eric Bailly.

Attempt blocked. Timur Zhamaletdinov (CSKA Moscow) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Konstantin Kuchaev.

Goal! CSKA Moscow 1, Manchester United 4. Konstantin Kuchaev (CSKA Moscow) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aleksandr Golovin.

Foul by Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United).

Georgi Milanov (CSKA Moscow) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Aleksandr Golovin (CSKA Moscow) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Sergei Ignashevich.

Daley Blind (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow).

Attempt missed. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Substitution, CSKA Moscow. Konstantin Kuchaev replaces Vitinho.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Viktor Vasin (CSKA Moscow).

Attempt saved. Vitinho (CSKA Moscow) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aleksandr Golovin.

Attempt saved. Matteo Darmian (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nemanja Matic.

Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Viktor Vasin (CSKA Moscow).

Foul by Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).

Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Vasili Berezutski.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) because of an injury.

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).

Pontus Wernbloom (CSKA Moscow) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution, CSKA Moscow. Georgi Milanov replaces Alan Dzagoev.

Substitution, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford replaces Anthony Martial.

Foul by Daley Blind (Manchester United).

Vitinho (CSKA Moscow) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Vasili Berezutski.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Viktor Vasin (CSKA Moscow).

Substitution, Manchester United. Matteo Darmian replaces Ashley Young.

Substitution, CSKA Moscow. Timur Zhamaletdinov replaces Fedor Chalov.

Attempt missed. Vitinho (CSKA Moscow) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Aleksandr Golovin.

Offside, Manchester United. Nemanja Matic tries a through ball, but Eric Bailly is caught offside.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Igor Akinfeev.

Attempt saved. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Anthony Martial with a through ball.

Substitution, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

What Next?

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