After an unhappy time at Roma, Seydou Doumbia is back at CSKA Moskva and back among the goals. We recount five of his key strikes in his first, five-year spell there.
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Seydou Doumbia, twice Russian Premier League top scorer, is back at CSKA Moskva on loan after six months at AS Roma. He claimed a potentially vital away goal in the 2-1 UEFA Champions League play-off first-leg defeat at Sporting CP and ahead of Wednesday's rematch, UEFA.com recalls the most important strikes of the 27-year-old Ivorian's first CSKA spell from January 2010 to January 2015.
CSKA Moskva 3-1 Spartak Moskva: 20 November 2010, Russian Premier League
Zenit had already won the title, but CSKA managed to cheer their fans by dispatching their biggest rivals in style. Doumbia got around Marek Suchý at the byline, beat Nicolás Pareja and shot in between goalkeeper Andriy Dykan and midfielder Ibson. "Sometimes you realise you should take responsibility," said the forward. "It was like that today."
LOSC Lille 2-2 CSKA Moskva: 14 September 2011, UEFA Champions League group stage
The pick of the campaign for CSKA was a 1-1 home draw with Real Madrid in the last 16, when Pontus Wernbloom scored an equaliser deep in added time. But they might not have made it had they not come back from two behind with 18 minutes left at LOSC – Doumbia's first a solo effort and his second aided by Alan Dzagoev.
CSKA Moskva 3-0 Trabzonspor: 18 October 2011, UEFA Champions League group stage
A month later Doumbia struck twice more. On the half-hour Vágner Love's back-heeled pass was turned in by Doumbia, who late on notched the third. CSKA president Evgeny Giner said: I reckon Doumbia has watched a lot of our ice hockey games. He controlled the ball the same way our hockey players control the puck with their sticks."
Spartak Moskva 1-2 CSKA Moskva: 17 March 2012, Russian Premier League
The first autumn-spring Russian league was not a happy one for the Army Men as they came third, falling behind Spartak near the end. However, in the second stage of the competition involving the top eight, CSKA overcame Spartak twice – their away victory arriving when Doumbia set up Zoran Tošić and then netted the winner himself by controlling an Ahmed Musa cross with his left foot then immediately smashing in with his right. The next day Russia's most popular sports newspaper Sport-Express went with the headline: "How to stop Doumbia?"
Manchester City 1-2 CSKA Moskva: 5 November 2014, UEFA Champions League group stage
Probably Doumbia's greatest match for CSKA, it came two weeks after his goal had helped them take a point off City in Moscow. The away return was even better: he nodded in a second-minute free-kick, promptly placing his daughter's dummy in his mouth to celebrate his birthday. City equalised but no matter as Doumbia caught out Joe Hart to settle matters before half-time. "An ideal father" was the Sport-Express headline the following morning, adding: "Of course he'll leave CSKA one day. But he'll stay in people's memory as a red-blue legend."
He says ...
"After leaving CSKA I had some turbulent times in my career. Now I want to play football again. I think my form is good enough at the moment. Like any striker I need goals. They are important for confidence."
They say ...
"He hardly played at Roma, making just one appearance in pre-season. We cannot ask too much of him at the moment. However, we are sure that he is dangerous for opponents even in his current condition."
CSKA coach Leonid Slutski, 22 August
"Seydou is an outstanding player, who is fond of scoring goals and is well capable of scoring them. You have to understand, however, that he will not work for the defence. Whatever you do, he will not run back even a metre. But make a proper pass to Doumbia and he will score, whether your opponents are Rostov or Manchester United."
Pontus Wernbloom, 22 August
- Having signed for Roma in January, he was rushed into the team after the Africa Cup of Nations and missed an open goal on his debut.
"I admit I made some mistakes during the winter transfer window. Seydou is a good player but we signed him at the wrong time. He arrived in Rome straight after the Africa Nations Cup. We know his abilities and that is not the real Doumbia."
Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini, March 2015
"Doumbia is out of form, he is almost invisible on the pitch. He needed only three games to make Roma supporters regret Mattia Destro's move to AC Milan. That is his only 'achievement' this season."
Gazzetta dello Sport, 23 February
- In April, Roma organised a special training programme for Doumbia called 'Mind-body coaching'. He started to play a little better but still did not meet expectations. His worst moment came in a summer friendly against Manchester City when he failed to score a Panenka-style penalty, earning fans' brickbats on Twitter. His return to CSKA swiftly followed.