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Arsenal target CSKA turnaround

Published: Sunday 22 October 2006, 21.45CET
Arsenal FC know they cannot afford any further slip-ups as a PFC CSKA Moskva side whose Matchday 3 victory took them to the top of Group G come to London.

Tournament statistics

ArsenalCSKA Moskva

Goals scored8
Attempts on target43
Attempts off target51
Fouls committed105
Yellow cards11
Red cards0
Published: Sunday 22 October 2006, 21.45CET

Arsenal target CSKA turnaround

Arsenal FC know they cannot afford any further slip-ups as a PFC CSKA Moskva side whose Matchday 3 victory took them to the top of Group G come to London.

Arsenal FC had been moving along sweetly in Group G but a second defeat in the UEFA Champions League in 16 games has put a different complexion on things. As they face up to their return fixture with PFC CSKA Moskva it is the Russian side who have taken over at the top of the section, their victory against the London side two weeks ago giving them a one-point advantage. Two points behind the English club lie FC Porto, who go to Germany to face Hamburger SV.

Carvalho winner
• A fine 24th-minute free-kick from Daniel Carvalho gave the Russian Premier-Liga champions their first victory against English opposition and they will harbour realistic hopes that they can qualify for the knockout stages for the first time. Despite winning their first two games, at Hamburg (2-1) and at home to Porto (2-0), Arsenal know another slip now could open the door for Porto to edge ahead as the group stage nears its conclusion.

• The win on Matchday 3, coupled with an opening-day draw at Porto (0-0) and a 1-0 home defeat of Hamburg in their second fixture, sent CSKA to the top of the section with seven points.

Home strength
• Arsène Wenger's side will not remember their performance in Moscow with much satisfaction and will be looking to get back on track immediately. Their home record in the competition is formidable; after losing to Chelsea FC in the 2003/04 quarter-final second leg, they played ten matches at Highbury without defeat, winning seven and drawing three.

• Their first group-stage fixture at their new Ashburton Grove home also went very much to plan with Thierry Henry's 50th goal in European competition and a crisp finish from Aleksandr Hleb – his first in the UEFA Champions League – securing victory against Porto on Matchday 2.

First meeting
• The 17 October fixture was the first time the teams had met in UEFA club competition. Arsenal's first ever visit from a Russian team ended in a heavy defeat as FC Spartak Moskva returned home with a convincing 5-2 win in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup first round.

• In the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League second group stage, against the same opponents, Arsenal won 1-0 at home thanks to Henry's 82nd-minute winner while in the 2003/04 group stage Arsenal were paired with FC Lokomotiv Moskva. Goals from Robert Pirès and Fredrik Ljungberg at Highbury on Matchday 6 took the Gunners through to the last 16 as section winners.

• The Moscow result two weeks ago ended an unhappy statistic for CSKA because they had tasted defeat in all three previous games against English opposition. In the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League they lost 2-0 in London against Chelsea FC and 1-0 at home and were beaten 3-1 after extra time against Liverpool FC in the 2005 UEFA Super Cup.

Last updated: 25/10/06 16.22CET