Why Arsenal must beware of CSKA Moscow tonight

Arsenal Beware of CSKA in Moscow by Lance

Given Arsenal’s disastrous PL season, it is reasonable for every Gooner to hope for us to win the 2018 Europa Cup as a way of qualifying for the 2019 Champions League.

This expectation has been bolstered by Arsenal’s 4-1 thrashing of CSKA Moscow in the first leg of the quarterfinals at the Emirates Stadium last week with some believing that the job has been done. But I beg to differ.

Football, as we all know, is unpredictable. Tuesday’s Champions League second leg quarterfinals match between AS Roma and FC Barcelona, which the great Spanish side lost 3-0 to their less illustrious opponents, is a good example of the unpredictability of the sport. Who ever thought Roma would score three goals to tie the two-legged encounter 4-4 and edge out Barcelona?

A few other examples would suffice.

Back in March 1982, German side Kaiserslautern met Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the then UEFA Cup. Having lost 3-1 in Madrid, the Germans won the return leg 5-0 to advance at the expense of the Spanish giants.

Again in December 1985, Borussia Mochengladbach travelled to Madrid holding a 5-1 advantage from the first leg of their third round tie in the UEFA Cup but blew it. Real Madrid won return leg 4-0 to advance.

In November 1993, another German team Karlsruhe lost 3-1 to Valencia in the first leg of their UEFA Cup and then humiliated the Spaniards 7-0 in the second leg.

Finally, in 2004, AC Milan had no problem defeating underdogs Deportivo LA Coruna 4-1 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinals. But the second leg was a different story as the Spanish minnows tore apart the Italian heavyweights, winning 4-0 to move to the semis.

I have deliberately chosen more examples from the UEFA Cup to show us that even in this second rate competition, we do have great comebacks. This should be a warning to Arsenal that the tie against CSKA is not yet over. Arsenal must avoid complacency and show commitment, grit, guts and sound tactics if we are to progress to the semis in spite of our three goals advantage. Moscow wont be easy.



  1. gotanidea says:

    Let’s see the bright side

    If Arsenal get eliminated tonight, it would be a taxi for Wenger to go back to France

    1. jon fox says:

      That taxi has been booked for some time now, by Daddy Kroenke, since sonny Josh reported back from his “analysis” and in my view that is certain. That being so, I hope we win the Europa but with Atletico , a totally different class from all the rest left in, I give us at best a 5% chance to lift trophy, though a 93% chance to get through tonight. Playing devils advoicate, IF Wenger staying depended on us winning Europa, I would certainly pray we lose. But I won’t be praying , cos he is toast in MAY ANYWAY.

  2. Sue says:

    I really hope we don’t blow it tonight… Will be absolutely gutted if we do

  3. Kenny Rolfe says:

    It least we don’t have to suffer an English referee tonight.

    1. Sue says:

      Hopefully not the ref from the city/liverpool game either!

  4. xhaka16 says:

    @kenny rolfe ……if that was aimed at the madrid match the referee definitly got the decision right

  5. Durand says:

    The team has not inspired much confidence this year. The question is which Arsenal team shows up.

    Love to see some younger players start; Nelson, AMN, maybe bring Eddie on if we are leading comfortably.

    Discipline will be key today and controlling the midfield. Have to press and really make them work hard in transitioning to attack. First goal is key as well as controlling momentum.

    Fingers crossed, taking nothing for granted.

  6. Break-on-through says:

    We must not allow them an early goal, tying at half time would be good enough and the longer it goes like that the more of their spirit will be sapped. The best way to approach it might be to attack them because one goal means they have to score four at least. We should not really mess up though because we’ve messed up too many times this season, this is our only hope of CL football so I expect us to be resolute.

  7. Gelz says:

    As long as we dont turn up thinking we’ve already won the game, we just need to put in a solid performance with no numpty style defending and we should be good.

    1. Ignasi M says:

      Absolutely. How long will it take for Xhaka to lose concentration and stop following runners/men? How long will it take for Mustafi to forget how to defend?

      1. GB says:

        Xhaka is out.

        1. Ignasi M says:

          GB: really? This is good, but who will replace him? Time to call on Coquelin! No, wait…um..argh. Potentially AMN?

  8. Sue says:

    I am a little worried about tonight.. I wish I could say we’re going to win 5-0 (like my husband does about his team Liverpool) I can’t remember the last time I ever said that…. what I’d give to be able to say that, but at the end of the day I don’t know which Arsenal will turn up! COYG please win ?

  9. Ignasi M says:

    I expect Arsenal to lose tonight (3-1) but will win on aggregate (5-4).

    We really can’t take for granted how bad our defence is. Mustafi should not be anywhere near the team for a club looking to win titles/trophies. In addition, Koscielny’s reliability has dwindled the past two seasons.

    Tonight: we won’t have the fall back option of creativity, chances and lots of goals due to the absences of Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang. Hoping that Welbeck confuses the defence with his ice skating skills and wears them down via his tireless work rate.

    1. Kumagaya says:

      You sont want mustafi. I thi k mertesacker can do it better. Bravo

      1. Ignasi M says:

        Agreed. Mertesacker can’t run anymore, but his positioning, communication and intellect should still be good. However, it would be risky if we have no pacey and disciplined CDM in front of him.

  10. Grandad says:

    If Mustafi and Wilshere start, and I suspect they will,CSK have a real chance.I hope i,m proved wrong.

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