Liverpool may not have fully completed their mission to Moscow last night as they had to make do with just a draw and tonight it is the turn of Manchester United to see what they can do in Russia’s capital. Tonight they go head to head with CSKA.
Both teams got off to the perfect start on Matchday 1 as CSKA Moscow picked up a somewhat unexpected 2-1 win over Benfica in Lisbon while Manchester United made light work of Swiss champions FC Basel. Although the slight blot on the copybook at Old Trafford was the injury that was suffered to Paul Pogba.
And with three points already under their belts for both clubs they will be looking to continue that Champions League momentum this evening. Manchester United have not lost a fixture across all competitions since the European Supercup defeat to Real Madrid in August and that is not a streak they will want to see come to an end here in Moscow.
Saturday saw them not quite at their free flowing best as they edged past Southampton at St Mary’s. It may have only been a one nil win but once again Romelu Lukaku was on hand to score and make it eight goals from as many matches this season.
Had he scored the penalty against Leicester at Old Trafford he would have scored in every Premier League game so far this season and he will look to continue his one hundred percent European record by finding the net against a CSKA side who currently find themselves 4th in the Russian Premier League.
After 11 matches played they are already are seven points behind early leaders Zenit and will have to improve their form slightly if they are to make a return to next season’s Champions League. Tonight though the focus shifts away from domestic matters and truly on all things Europe.
Saturday saw them play out a bore draw in the Moscow derby with cross town rivals Dynamo as they lost further ground on Roberto Mancini’s Zenit. You get the feeling that they will be fighting with the likes of Lokomotiv and FC Krasnador for what ever scraps the St.Petersburg outfit feel like leaving behind.
United are in a much more prominent position back home and are currently duking it out with Manchester City even at this early stage of the campaign. Neither team has never really been tested and the first Manchester derby will be the real acid test as to where the Premier League title will eventually end up.
Manchester United made a trip to Russia last season when they faced FC Rostov in the Europa League Round of 16. The pitch was not really conducive to easy on the eye football and Jose Mourinho’s were more than happy with the 1-1 draw that they came away with. They will have to hope that the surface is a little better this evening.
But this is also a different United side with much more verve and more importantly freedom and I think regardless of the surface they will be able to make light work of CSKA and do what Liverpool failed to do last night and that is win in Moscow. Mission complete and all three points for the Red Devils.
Here is what social media thinks – you can still vote on the outcome
Will #ManchesterUnited fare any better in Moscow this evening?
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 27, 2017