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Sparta deny CSKA Moskva sixth win

AC Sparta Praha 1-1 PFC CSKA Moskva
The top two sides in Group F shared the spoils as Sparta came from behind to end CSKA's perfect record in the competition thus far.

Václav Kadlec celebrates his equaliser for Sparta
Václav Kadlec celebrates his equaliser for Sparta ©Getty Images

AC Sparta Praha denied fellow qualifiers PFC CSKA Moskva a perfect UEFA Europa League group stage campaign after coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw.

After Alan Dzagoev put CSKA in front, Sparta responded well and Václav Kadlec levelled on the stroke of half-time. With CSKA certain to finish top of Group F, and Sparta second, the game petered out after the break, despite a late flurry of chances that could have given either side victory.

A Manuel Pamić shot aside, neither team had really threatened until the 15th minute, when CSKA struck suddenly and clinically, the manner that has come to characterise their play this autumn. Sekou Oliseh found Zoran Tošić down the left, and the Serbia winger's cross was killed beautifully by Dzagoev – two touches later and it was 1-0.

However, Sparta had not secured second place without a good deal of resilience. They trailed on the last two matchdays before eventually taking four points from those games and steadily upped the pressure. The equaliser came a minute before the break, Jakub Podaný heading on to Kadlec and the 18-year-old matching the composure displayed by Dzagoev at the other end to fire in.

Despite difficult playing conditions, both sides continued to show commendable attacking intent. Tošić shot wide before Tomáš Necid was brilliantly denied by home keeper Daniel Zítka with 20 minutes left. Sparta were playing mainly on the break now, but substitute Leony Kweuke had two great chances to win it – heading wide, before hitting the post in the last minute.