An impressive display from Manchester United saw them cruise to a 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow in their UEFA Champions League Group A clash at the VEB Arena on Wednesday.
CSKA Moscow 1 Manchester United 4
Lukaku scores in the fifth minute
Martial converts an 18th-minute penalty
Lukaku adds a third in the 26th minute
Mkhitaryan nets in the 57th minute
Kuchaev pulls one back in the 92nd minute
Although the hosts did have one or two first-half chances, United were in devastating form in the opening stanza, over-running the Horses. Their dominance continued in the second period and they would have scored several more were in not for some determined goalkeeping by CSKA captain Igor Akinfeev.
The Red Devils got off to a flying start, scoring with their first chance of the night after Anthony Martial picked out Romelu Lukaku, who out-jumped a static home defence to power in a downward header.
It could have been 2-0 in the 12th minute when some scintillating play from the victors saw Daley Blind tee up Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but his effort was well kept out by the feet of Akinfeev.
A reckless challenge by defender Georgy Schennikov on Mkhitaryan inside the box resulted in a penalty being awarded, which Martial tucked away into the bottom corner with ease.
The Frenchman was looking at his very best and was to again assist a Lukaku goal following a mazy run down the left before his cross was missed by Vasili Berezutski, allowing the alert Belgian an easy close-range finish.
Lukaku also drew a smart save out of Akinfeev 10 minutes before the interval with a rasping drive from 25 yards out.
The Russian club could well have pulled a goal back before the break, but David De Gea made a breath-taking reflex save to keep out Fedor Chalov.
Jose Mourinho’s side continued to create chances at will after the restart as Lukaku’s close-range volley was brilliantly saved by Akinfeev, before Blind headed over the bar from a good position on 50 minutes.
But United were to get their fourth shortly after, Mkhitaryan netting from close range after Martial’s initial effort had been parried by Akinfeev.
The home skipper was called into action just three minutes later, making an outstanding save to keep out Jesse Lingard after Martial had played him in.
Matteo Darmian was also denied by Akinfeev – the Italian should have scored after being played clean through on goal by Nemanja Matic.
There was at least some consolation for a somewhat shell-shocked Moscow when Konstantin Kuchaev combined cleverly with Aleksandr Golovin before finishing with a neat left-footed effort on the angle.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 27, 2017