Real Madrid overcame freezing temperatures and an artificial pitch but not dogged Russian opponents CSKA Moscow who scored a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw. CSKA have not played for over two months due to the Russian winter recess and this was shown with their final ball which lacked the quality to trouble the Madrid rearguard. The visitors took time to settle but once Ronaldo scored the only goal of the game in the first half the Spaniards looked like holding out for a win.
As it is Madrid make it just one defeat in their last twenty Champions League encounters but Jose Mourinho will be disappointed to have conceded so late and wasted chances to have sealed not only the game but made the second leg back in Spain a formality.
A tentative opening twenty minutes by both teams ended when Madrid took the lead just before the half-hour mark. Tosic made a hash of trying to clear a cross and the ball broke to Ronaldo who crashed a half-volley past keeper Chepchugov who played his part in keeping the Russian`s in the game.
After the break the pace of the game picked up as the host`s began chasing an equaliser which assisted the visitor`s who attacked on the break and Ronaldo twice should have extended their lead but was foiled by the keeper.
For CSKA their main threat was the pace of Musa who was surprisingly substituted but as the clock ticked down one final cross was sent over and as for Madrid`s goal the ball fell into the path of the Swedish player who volleyed home from ten yards.
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Venue: Stadion Luzhniki
TRIBAL ASKS: If Real are looking to win the Champions League they will need to concentrate for the full 90 minutes.
Yellow cards: Ramos (RM), Alonso (RM), Wernbloom (CSKA)