Vágner Love scored twice to earn PFC CSKA Moskva an excellent 3-1 win at Feyenoord – and maximum points from two group-stage games.
A Giovanni van Bronckhorst own goal had given the Russian team an early lead in Rotterdam and although the same man levelled matters just before the half-hour, Love got in on the act with a goal either side of half-time to move CSKA two points clear at the Group H summit. The only drawback on a near-perfect night for the 2004/05 competition winners was Evgeni Aldonin's late dismissal.
Feyenoord were aiming to get their European campaign back on track following a 3-0 defeat by AS Nancy-Lorraine in their opener, and the Dutch club almost got the ideal start when a third-minute Roy Makaay effort flew narrowly wide. However, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock, Van Bronckhorst inadvertently sending Yuri Zhirkov's 14th-minute corner into the top corner. Love nearly doubled the advantage almost immediately, before at the other end CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev reacted well to keep out a long-range strike from Leroy Fer.
Makaay also hit the bar, and his side restored parity soon after as the 33-year-old squared for Van Bronckhorst who lashed in. Love, though, responded five minutes before half-time to give CSKA the initiative going into the break. Makaay was again at the centre of the action on the resumption, going close from inside the box, yet the home team failed to carve out any further gilt-edged chances. It was therefore no surprise when Love latched on to Zhirkov's pass nine minutes from time to finish expertly into the bottom corner from 12 metres. Aldonin was sent off for a second yellow card moments later, yet Feyenoord could not make the man advantage count.