Miloš Krasić capped a superb individual performance with a stunning goal to keep PFC CSKA Moskva in UEFA Champions League contention thanks to a comeback victory against VfL Wolfsburg.
CSKA had to win to remain in touch with second-placed Wolfsburg in Group B but Edin Džeko's fine finish gave the visitors an early lead. Tomáš Necid levelled just before the hour and Krasić's long-range strike gave CSKA a win they more than deserved. They now trail Wolfsburg only on head-to-head record so will need a better result at eliminated Beşiktaş JK on 8 December than Wolfsburg manage at home to Manchester United FC.
The opening was cautious but although Wolfsburg only required a draw to secure progress, it was they who showed the greater attacking intent early on. Džeko had a shot blocked on eleven minutes before Krasić started to spark CSKA into life on the right. The Serbia midfielder produced several strong runs down the flank, winning a number of set-pieces and crossing for Vasili Berezutski, whose volley was snuffed out.
However, Wolfsburg always looked ready to launch a quick break as CSKA pushed forward and scored a goal rather out of the blue in the 19th minute. The visitors went forward with three attackers up against as many defenders, and Obafemi Martins played a swift pass into the box that caught out CSKA but not Džeko, who beat the offside trap and lifted his shot over the diving Igor Akinfeev into the far corner.
CSKA now needed to score twice and Krasić looked to inspire them, the 25-year-old unlucky to see his close-range effort saved by the legs of Diego Benaglio following a great solo run three minutes after Džeko had struck. Further chances were at a premium for Wolfsburg but it could have been 2-0 ten minutes later when Zvjezdan Misimović missed the target from 14 metres out having been fed perfectly by a square pass from Džeko. Five minutes before the break Aleksei Berezutski shot straight at Benaglio from close range out after a scramble in the Wolfsburg goalmouth following Krasić's corner.
The second half started in the same fashion the first ended as CSKA continued to press, only now they were moving forward down the centre as well as the flanks. Evgeni Aldonin's low long-range effort went just wide before Pavel Mamaev was denied by Benaglio's leg but it was obvious that Wolfsburg were struggling to hold back a hungry-looking CSKA. The equaliser arrived eventually on 58 minutes, Necid heading confidently past Benaglio from Aldonin's outswinging cross. Still the German champions were on course to go through but eight minutes later Aldonin fed Krasić, who unleashed a surging shot from 25 metres that gave Benaglio no chance, the goal matching his superb performance.
Wolfsburg now had to attack but Armin Veh's side failed to apply serious pressure on Akinfeev's goal. Krasić remained the most influential player on the pitch and Alan Dzagoev came close twice in the final minutes but CSKA had done enough to ensure their UEFA Champions League campaign may, for the first time, in five attempts, not end in the group stage.