PFC CSKA Moskva 4-0 AJ Auxerre CSKA have one foot in the semi-finals after gaining an emphatic advantage.
PFC CSKA Moskva have one foot in the last four of the UEFA Cup after a resounding 4-0 win against ten-man AJ Auxerre in the Lokomotiv stadium.
The Russian side overwhelmed their opponents with goals from Chidi Odiah, Sergei Ignashevich, Vágner Love and Rolan Gusev and Auxerre finished the match a player down after Jean-Pascal Mignot was dismissed late on.
It was the home side who started the more positive, dominating the early exchanges and coming close to taking the lead in the eighth minute as Fabien Cool produced a great double save.
Yuri Zhirkov was a particular menace for the Auxerre defence, rampaging down the left, and it was from that flank that CSKA took the lead. The visitors failed to clear as the ball worked its way from the left to the right of the penalty area where Nigerian defender Odiah arrived to fire past Cool, with the help of a deflection off Lionel Mathis.
CSKA continued to boss the play with Auxerre limited to long-range efforts. However, the French side enjoyed their best spell of possession in the closing minutes of the half, coming closest when Younes Kaboul headed just wide from a corner.
It was a tentative opening to the second half from both sides but the first chance fell to the visitors. Eleven minutes after the restart Benjani Mwaruwari found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat but rushed his effort, blasting well wide.
The visitors were made to rue that missed chance just after the hour as CSKA were awarded a penalty for a foul on Vágner Love as he burst into the box. Ignashevich blasted straight down the middle to double the home team's lead. Eight minutes later it was 3-0. Zhirkov used his pace to get into the penalty area and deliver a perfect left-wing cross which Vágner Love diverted past Cool.
The winger was really enjoying himself and was again the creator for CSKA's fourth, going past players with ease before supplying Gusev, who scored arriving late after only just coming on as a substitute. Then, to compound Auxerre's woes, Mignot received a second yellow card seven minutes from time, leaving the field on a stretcher having been hurt in his offending foul, while CSKA defender Aleksei Berezoutski will also be suspended for next week's return after collecting a late caution.