CSKA Moskva will have to draw on unprecedented powers of recovery in Moscow if they are to overturn the 4-1 defeat they sustained against Arsenal in the first leg of this UEFA Europa League quarter-final. Arsène Wenger’s side are the top-scoring team in the competition with 27 goals, and their tally of eight victories is also unmatched.

• Third in their UEFA Champions League group during the autumn, CSKA overcame Crvena zvezda in the round of 32, a goalless draw in Belgrade preceding a 1-0 win in Moscow, before ending the hopes of last season’s semi-finalists Lyon. After losing 1-0 at home, first UEFA Europa League goals of the campaign from Aleksandr Golovin, Ahmed Musa and Pontus Wernbloom gave CSKA a memorable 3-2 win in France to seal their progress on away goals.

• Arsenal, the lone English representatives in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, won four of their six autumn encounters to top Group H before knocking out European debutants Östersund in the round of 32 then winning both legs against Milan – 2-0 in Italy and 3-1 in north London.


Highlights: Arsenal 4-1 CSKA Moskva

Previous meetings
A frantic first half in north London delivered five goals – four to Arsenal – and that was how the first leg finished, with the Gunners grateful to a double apiece from Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette, the French striker scoring on his debut for the club in the competition. CSKA’s solitary strike – to make it 1-1 – came from a spectacular Golovin free-kick.

• CSKA got the better of Arsenal when the two teams were paired in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage, winning 1-0 in Moscow with a Daniel Carvalho free-kick and becoming the first visiting team to prevent the Gunners from scoring in their new stadium when they drew the return fixture 0-0.

• Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich and the Berezutski twins, Aleksei and Vasili, were in the unbreached CSKA defence for both of those fixtures. However, despite those results Arsenal went on to win the group, with CSKA finishing third.

• This is CSKA’s 21st European fixture against English opposition, their record standing at W3 D5 L12. They have already lost at home to English opposition this season, going down 1-4 at home to Manchester United on matchday two of the UEFA Champions League.

• CSKA have failed to win any of their last six fixtures against Premier League visitors and have an overall record in Moscow of W2 D2 L5. Their last home win against an English club was in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32, when they defeated Aston Villa 2-0 to complete a 3-1 aggregate win. That is CSKA’s sole previous knockout tie against English opposition.

• Arsenal have a negative overall balance against Russian opposition in UEFA competition (W3 D2 L4) and have never won in Russia (D1 L3). All four of those matches have been in Moscow, with a 0-0 draw against Lokomotiv Moskva in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage the one occasion on which the Gunners have avoided defeat. Their only previous two-legged knockout tie with Russian opposition ended in an 8-4 aggregate defeat by Spartak Moskva in the first round of the 1982/83 UEFA Cup (2-3 away, 2-5 home).

Alexandre Lacazette after scoring in the first leg


Alexandre Lacazette after scoring in the first leg©Getty Images

Form guide
• CSKA lost their opening two home games in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage – 1-4 against Manchester United, 0-2 against Basel – before defeating Benfica 2-0 in Moscow on matchday five and then prevailing 1-0 against Crvena zvezda to win their round of 32 tie by the same aggregate score. They then lost 0-1 at home to Lyon in the round of 16. Excluding qualifying ties, they have won only two of their last ten European home fixtures (D3 L5).

• That victory over Crvena zvezda is the only one the Russian side have managed in their last seven home matches in springtime European competition (D3 L3); they have scored four goals over that stretch while conceding six. It is also the sole victory in their last five UEFA Europa League home fixtures, play-offs included (D1 L3).

• Like UEFA Europa League debutants Arsenal, CSKA have never previously participated in the quarter-finals of the renamed competition. This is the club’s third appearance in a European quarter-final. They won the first of them, 4-2 on aggregate against Auxerre (4-0 home, 0-2 away), en route to winning the 2004/05 UEFA Cup, but lost the other, going down 1-0 in both legs to Internazionale in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League.

• CSKA were runners-up to city rivals Spartak Moskva in last season’s Russian Premier League. To reach the UEFA Champions League group stage they came through two qualifying rounds, defeating both AEK Athens and Young Boys 3-0 on aggregate.

• The Gunners have won six of their last seven away fixtures in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League, including four out of five in 2017/18, the only blemish a 1-0 defeat at Köln in this season’s group stage. They are on a run of four successive away victories in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League knockout phase.

• Arsenal have prolonged their European campaign into the spring for the 19th successive year – all under Arsène Wenger’s management.

• Arsenal are making their UEFA Europa League debut this season. Their last European campaign outside the UEFA Champions League was the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup, which ended with a penalty shoot-out defeat in the final against Galatasaray. They overcame Werder Bremen in that season’s quarter-final, winning 2-0 at home and 4-2 away.

• The Gunners’ record in UEFA competition quarter-final ties is W6 L5, although they have lost four of their last six – all in the UEFA Champions League. In all of those six successful quarter-finals, they avoided defeat in the away leg (W2 D4), whereas in four of the five unsuccessful ties they were beaten on their travels, drawing the other game.

• CSKA have lost two of the three UEFA competition ties in which they fell to defeat away from home in the first leg, but they were victorious in the most recent, overcoming Sporting CP in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs (1-2 away, 3-1 home). They have never previously lost the first away leg by more than one goal.

• Arsenal have won the first leg at home in 17 UEFA competition ties and have made further progress on 15 of those occasions, including in all four knockout rounds en route to the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup final (against Nantes, Deportivo La Coruña, Werder Bremen and Lens).

• The Gunners have never previously won the home first leg 4-1. The only two times that they failed to qualify following first-leg victories in north London came after 2-1 scorelines, Valencia beating them 1-0 in the return of the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League quarter-final to go through on away goals and another Spanish club, Barcelona, recovering to win 3-1 in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg.

Lacazette, Pirlo, Raúl: Five classic last-eight goals


Lacazette, Pirlo, Raúl: Five classic last-eight goals

Links and trivia
• Ramsey’s goal that gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead in Milan was the 350th scored by an English club in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.

• CSKA goalkeeper Akinfeev has played every minute of his team’s European campaign this season, keeping seven clean sheets in 15 matches.

• Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny played for France as they defeated a Russia side featuring Dzagoev and Golovin 3-1 in an international friendly on 27 March in Saint Petersburg.

• Ramsey scored past Akinfeev when Wales defeated Russia 3-0 in the final group game of UEFA EURO 2016. Ignashevich, Aleksei Berezutski, Vasili Berezutski and Golovin also played for Russia in that game.

• Jack Wilshere came on as a substitute for England against Russia in the same tournament and was on the field when Vasili Berezutski scored Russia’s added-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

• Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a UEFA Europa League winner with Manchester United last season. The Armenian international has already played in Moscow against CSKA in Europe this season, scoring United’s final goal to crown that 4-1 win in the UEFA Champions League.

• Petr Čech played twice for Chelsea against CSKA in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage, keeping clean sheets in both games (2-0 home, 1-0 away).

• Alan Dzagoev scored twice past Čech when Russia defeated Czech Republic 4-1 in the group stage of UEFA EURO 2012.

• There are eight different nations represented in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. The last major UEFA club competition in which that occurred was the 2004/05 UEFA Cup – which CSKA went on to win.

• CSKA striker Musa is on loan to the club from English side Leicester City, for whom he made his home debut as a substitute against the Gunners in August 2016. He is a Nigerian international team-mate of Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi.

• In addition to being the UEFA Europa League’s top-scoring side, Arsenal have also had more goal attempts than any other side – 152 in total – while midfielder Mohamed Elneny has completed more passes (647) than any other player in the competition.

• CSKA’s Kirill Nababkin returns from suspension for this fixture.

• Suspended for next match if booked: Pontus Wernbloom, Bibras Natcho, Alan Dzagoev, Ahmed Musa (CSKA).

Arsène Wenger issues instructions during the first game


Arsène Wenger issues instructions during the first game©Getty Images

Penalty shoot-outs
• Arsenal’s record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
4-5 v Valencia, 1979/80 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final
3-2 v Sampdoria, 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final
1-4 v Galatasaray, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup final
7-6 v Roma, 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16

• CSKA Moskva’s record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L1:
6-7 v Ferencváros, 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup first round

The coaches
• Appointed by CSKA to replace long-serving coach Leonid Slutski in December 2016, Viktor Goncharenko was only 39 at the time, but he had earned a growing reputation in Russian football, notably while serving as Slutski’s assistant. He made his name as a coach in his native Belarus at BATE Borisov, winning five straight titles and leading the club into the UEFA Champions League group stage on three occasions.

• Arsène Wenger has been the Arsenal manager since 1996, leading the Gunners to three English titles, a record seven FA Cup wins and the 2006 UEFA Champions League final. A player of modest repute, he made his name as a coach with Nancy and Monaco in his native France before moving to Japan for a brief spell with Nagoya Grampus 8. He is the longest serving manager in the Premier League.


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