|CSKA Moskva||Aston Villa|
PFC CSKA Moskva booked their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory at the Luzhniki Stadium, though they made hard work of it against an under-strength Aston Villa FC side.
The English outfit arrived in Russia without eight first-team regulars, yet held their own for much of the first hour before Yuri Zhirkov finally settled home nerves with a well-worked free-kick. With the first leg finishing 1-1 a goal for the visitors would have been enough to force extra time, and they pushed hard in the closing stages. That left room at the back which Vágner Love duly exploited, making it 2-0 deep into added time.
It was Vágner Love's second goal of the tie, the Brazilian having put CSKA ahead in the first leg to cap a vibrant personal performance, but he struggled to make a similar impact in Moscow. Villa, with 19-year-olds Marc Albrighton and Barry Bannan making their first competitive starts, limited the Russian side to fleeting chances in the initial stages, Vasili Berezutski twice heading over before Alan Dzagoev curled a free-kick narrowly wide.
Igor Akinfeev was not exactly overworked in the home goal either, save for one Nathan Delfouneso effort, and CSKA stepped up a gear in the second period. Brad Guzan did well to deny Zhirkov soon after the restart but could do nothing on 61 minutes when Zhirkov took a free-kick on the right – tapping it to Dzagoev and running more centrally to receive the return and fire home. Villa advanced in search of an equaliser but to no avail and Vágner Love clinched the win on the break two minutes into added time, running on to Miloš Krasić's pass and rifling in his tenth of the campaign.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.