Midfielder Keisuke Honda felt a weight lifted from his shoulders after PFC CSKA Moskva held off FC Viktoria Plzeň to end a four-game sequence without a victory.
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Keisuke Honda hopes PFC CSKA Moskva's 3-2 Group D victory over FC Viktoria Plzeň will be the starting point for a positive run in the UEFA Champions League.
The Russian title holders had gone into the match – played over 700km away in St Petersburg due to the condition of their Moscow pitch – on the back of a four-game winless streak. However, strikes from Zoran Tošić, Honda and an own goal by Radim Řezník secured CSKA's first win in this season's competition. Afterwards the Japanese international told UEFA.com the Army Men deserved the points and still have a chance of reaching the round of 16. Plzeň, meanwhile, are already eagerly anticipating the matchday six return fixture in the Czech Republic, believing they can get the better of the Muscovites.
Keisuke Honda, CSKA Moskva midfielder
We didn't expect an easy match and started badly once again, conceding a goal in the first five minutes. I don't know why it happens, though I would stress that our opponents played good football. Plzeň have quality players, I especially liked their No10 [captain Pavel Horváth]. But we deserved the win and I am happy. Our coach didn't talk much in the dressing room, he just congratulated us.
The team are in a difficult position at the moment – we have many injured players, we need to find solutions but we must also remain patient. I hope today's win will be the starting point for future progress. We have three points now and face more difficult matches ahead. We should focus on them as we have a chance of qualifying for the next stage.
Ahmed Musa, CSKA Moskva forward
It was a difficult match, both teams had many chances to score, but we deserved to win. We are happy with this victory and need to keep our momentum going.
Václav Procházka, Plzeň defender
We scored first but CSKA showed they are a quality team. We made two mistakes and paid the price. We can't allow that at this level. We had spoken beforehand about [needing to avoid errors] but unfortunately we couldn't carry out our plans.
I hope this game will be a good lesson for us. CSKA are better than us at the moment, they are fast and keep the ball well. But even after we conceded, we continued to play open football and didn't pay enough attention in defence.
After the [group stage] draw we realised we'd have to fight for second place. We don't have any points but still have plenty of matches. Even in the games against FC Bayern München we will fight for every point. The most important thing is to try to beat CSKA at our stadium. If we do that, we will probably finish third and qualify for the UEFA Europa League.
Milan Petržela, Plzeň midfielder
We made a great start, but instead of keeping total concentration in defence, we kept pushing to score more goals and that was our main mistake.
If we hadn't conceded the third goal, we would have had a chance to equalise and earn a draw, but that didn't happen. The goalkeepers didn't play well today but we shouldn't blame our keeper [for the defeat] – the whole team are guilty. CSKA played well, especially Honda and Tošić who scored key goals. We can get revenge in the Czech Republic.