|Pepe for Real Madrid|
Uncomfortable is the best term to describe this game for Real Madrid. This, with irregular bounce & a slow running ball that did not encourage any fast play or any beautiful executions. This obviously favoured CSKA Moscow which is accustomed to these conditions & feel like a "fish in water" at home.
So awkward were the conditions that Real Madrid player KARIM BENZEMA suffered an injury in the 9th min after shooting at goal that is typical of cold nights with a bad bouncing ball. This gave Higuain his chance to play a "full" match, which is great for the Argentine, but without the first worry of the Karim injury to the Spanish side.
Stalemate most of the first half as the Russians were playing counter-attacking Football & Real Madrid was looking for a quick adaptation to the circumstances, which came with a defensive mistake from Moscow which allowed CRISTIANO RONALDO to fire home the opener in the 28th min. Must congratulate Higuain who seconds earlier had recovered a lost ball to set it all up.
The second half was 95% Real Madrid & they failed some clear chances ( Ronaldo twice) to have sealed this tie. But in Football, the Iron Law of "you will pay for your missed chances", hoovered & was present to manifest itself in the last moment when CSKA Moscow equalized in the 92 min. It was a "fix play" - free kick situation with all the Moscow players in the Real Madrid goal square looking for "THAT" opportunity, which came when WERNBLOOM found a loose ball from previous headers to ram home the goal.
A harsh blow for Real Madrid which had previously put in a very good performance & very serious defensive effort ( last 91 mins), to watch how Moscow exploited fully their only real chance in the 2º half. This & the niggling thought that once again a set piece allowed their virgin net ( at that stage ) to be violated.
Said this, well done to CSKA Moscow for their perseverance. However, after watching this match, I do not see CSKA Moscow at a level to eliminate Real Madrid at the "Santiago Bernabeu" Stadium. As said, this final result is not at all bad for the Spanish side, they have an advantage & was superior for 90% of the game.
P.s Hope not to eat my final words :O)