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Palermo win brings up CSKA century

PFC CSKA Moskva 3-1 US Città di Palermo
Three goals in seven minutes, two of them for Tomáš Necid, put the Army Men into the last 32 as Palermo struggled with ten men.

Palermo win brings up CSKA century
Palermo win brings up CSKA century ©UEFA.com

PFC CSKA Moskva celebrated their 100th match in UEFA club competition in perfect style, by qualifying for the UEFA Europa League knockout stages following a 3-1 win against US Città di Palermo.

Three goals in the space of seven second-half minutes, including a quick-fire double from Tomáš Necid, proved to be the Italian side's undoing, as CSKA maintain their 100% record. However, Palermo did not help their own cause, as they had to play for almost an hour with ten men.

CSKA came into the match having won each of their opening three Group F games 3-0, but fell behind after only ten minutes. Massimo Maccarone found himself in oceans of space by the penalty spot, and the forward had few problems heading Fabrizio Miccoli's perfect cross past Igor Akinfeev, ending a run of three Europa League clean sheets for the Russian international.

The Army Men immediately went in search of an equaliser, with Zoran Tošić's long-range drive going narrowly over the bar. Palermo were looking good value for their lead, but the course of the game changed after 31 minutes as Antonio Nocerino was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Despite being down to ten men, the Sicilian outfit defended well until three CSKA goals in seven minutes following the resumption put Leonid Slutski's side firmly in control. Keisuke Honda pulled his side level after slotting Tošić's intelligent through ball past Francesco Benussi, and two goals in four minutes from Necid, the second, a fine turn and shot that went in off the post, gave Palermo a mountain to climb.

Vágner Love could have extended his side's lead but the Brazilian was denied by a couple of smart saves by Benussi.