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Everything to play for in Moscow

Crvena zvezda and CSKA Moskva played out a goalless draw in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 First Leg. Visitors proved that they are a well organized side by keeping the ball and pressing well, but it was the Serbian team that was presented with better chances on a wet February evening in Belgrade.

Ground: Rajko Mitić Stadium
Attendance: 35,642
Referee: Paweł Raczkowski (Poland)


Crvena zvezda: Borjan, Stojković, Savić, Le Tallec, Rodić, Jovičić, Krstičić, Donald, Ben Nabouhane, Radonjić, Pešić.
Substitutes: Supić, Račić, Milijaš, Adžić, Babić, Srnić, Gobeljić.

CSKA Moskva: Akinfeev, Vasin, Berezutski, Wernbloom, Fernandes, Dzagoev, Natcho, Golovin, Kuchaev, Vitinho, Musa
Substitutes: Pomazun, Ignashevich, Milanov, Nababkin, Bistrovic, Chalov, Gordyushenko.


Vladan Milojević was forced to leave out team's top scorer Richmond Boakye, who sadly lost the race to regain full fitness in time for this match. Aleksandar Pešić led the line with tricky forwards Radonjić and Ben Nabouhane trying to stretch visitors' defence.

Midfield trio of Mitchell Donald, Branko Jovičić and Nenad Krstičić was full of running, battling for every ball and protecting the back four throughout.

After a nervy half hour, Nemanja Radonjić was presented with a glorious chance as re raced onto a loose ball after some poor footwork from CSKA Moskva's defenders. But the winger was forced to take the shot with his weaker right foot and his shot had no real power nor precision and it was palmed away by The Army Men captain Igor Akinfeev.

The Russian side was set up to prevent the red-and-whites from scoring and they have done a fine job by pressing Zvezda players all over the pitch. However, they couldn't muster a real goalscoring chance over 90 minutes and were limited to several half-chances and long-range attempts that never looked like beating Milan Borjan in Zvezda's goal.

It was a hard-fought battle on a wet Rajko Mitić Stadium pitch and the scoreline was probably just. These teams will meet again next Wednesday (21 February 2018) at CSKA Moskva's VEB Arena. Our team will have everything to play for in Moscow and the clean sheet from the Belgrade leg might prove an invaluable asset to Vladan Milojević's side.

Before that, the team will resume the Superliga campaign on Saturday, when Javor arrive to Rajko Mitić Stadium for a 14.30 CET kick-off.

Good luck, you red-and-whites!



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