Bayer Leverkusen raced into a two-goal lead but strikes from Alan Dzagoev and Roman Eremenko in the space of three first-half minutes earned CSKA Moskva a share of the spoils.
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CSKA Moskva came from two down to earn a deserved point against Bayer Leverkusen.
The hosts' positive start was rewarded when Admir Mehmedi slipped the ball past Igor Akinfeev on nine minutes. Six minutes later, Hakan Çalhanoğlu doubled his side's lead. Leverkusen were aided by fortunate deflections on both occasions, but it was no more than they deserved.
CSKA had hardly created a chance before Alan Dzagoev stabbed past Bernd Leno to pull one back. The visitors' supporters were still celebrating when Roman Eremenko levelled from a tight angle two minutes later. Leverkusen tried to find a winner in the second half, but the visitors were largely untroubled and returned to the Russian capital with a point.
Key player: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA)
Though Akinfeev conceded for a 38th straight UEFA Champions League group stage game, the Russia keeper kept his team in the match with several impressive saves, most notably from Wendell, Mehmedi – twice – and Julian Brandt. If the 30-year-old hadn't been at his best, Leonid Slutski's charges might have headed home with nothing to show for their impressive second-half showing.
Deja vu for Leverkusen
A strong feeling of deja vu lingered around the BayArena after CSKA's quickfire double. In last year's group stage, Leverkusen led Roma 2-0 before conceding twice in quick succession prior to the break, eventually drawing 4-4. This one also ended all-square, and if the Werkself harbour serious ambitions of reaching the latter rounds of this competition, they need to start posting clean sheets.
Traoré answering critics
If CSKA striker Lacina Traoré has had his critics this term, he began to provide some answers tonight. The on-loan Monaco forward may not have scored yet he was instrumental in helping to bring the Army Men's talented array of attacking midfielders into play. Traoré gives the Russian champions a different dimension to that offered by the likes of Ahmed Musa and Seydou Doumbia in recent seasons. His skills might just suit them better, especially away from home.
UEFA.com team reporters' views
Matthew Howarth, Leverkusen (@UEFAcomMattH)
It is difficult to know where to start. The hosts were utterly dominant until Dzagoev and Eremenko hauled CSKA back into it before half-time. Roger Schmidt's side should have been out of sight long before then, though, and have only themselves to blame. With games against Monaco and Tottenham coming up, the Bundesliga team have to learn from their mistakes – and fast.
Richard van Poortvliet, CSKA (@UEFAcomRichVP)
CSKA may still be looking for their first win on matchday one in the UEFA Champions League, but they have given themselves plenty of reason to be confident going into the rest of the campaign. While their defensive frailties again came back to haunt them, they showed excellent resolve and courage to come back and earn a point.