Vágner Love's hat-trick in France put the brakes on AS Nancy-Lorraine's UEFA Cup ambitions for another fortnight as the Russian side became only the fifth team to finish the UEFA Cup group stage with a maximum haul of 12 points.
The Brazilian completed his treble two minutes from time to seal victory after Basile Camerling's strike seemed to have earned Nancy a share of the spoils. Valeri Gazzaev's men are now certain of topping Group H and playing a third-placed finisher from another UEFA Cup section in the Round of 32; Nancy must avoid defeat at RC Deportivo La Coruña on Matchday 5 to be sure of going through.
Monsef Zerka gave Nancy a fifth-minute lead, beating Igor Akinfeev from Issiar Dia's pass. Vágner Love almost levelled a few minutes later, heading over Yuri Zhirkov's cross, but made amends in style with a stunning effort from distance which restored parity after 23 minutes. CSKA then went ahead as Zhirkov set up Ramón to beat Gennaro Bracigliano ten minutes later.
Just after the hour mark it was 3-1, as Vágner Love drilled a low drive past the Nancy keeper following a ball from Caner Erkin, but CSKA were made to pay for taking their foot off the gas when Julien Feret turned home a Zerka through ball 18 minutes from time. Camerling came on as Pablo Correa's charges went for broke, and he finished well from Damian Macaluso's pass with eleven minutes remaining.
However, Vágner Love took his UEFA Cup total to eight goals for the season with another cracking strike with the clock ticking down, sending CSKA into their winter break with something to celebrate. Nancy will take on Deportivo on 17 December knowing a defeat could see them overhauled by fourth-placed KKS Lech Poznań, who must win at Feyenoord to have a chance of advancing.
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