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12 Dec, 2018 19:46

CSKA 3-0 Real Madrid - CSKA crash out of UCL despite THREE-NIL win at the Bernabeu (PHOTOS)

CSKA 3-0 Real Madrid - CSKA crash out of UCL despite THREE-NIL win at the Bernabeu (PHOTOS)

A spirited CSKA Moscow side crashed out of the UEFA Champions League despite recording an incredible 3-0 win over holders Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, continuing a tradition of Russian victories over Spanish teams in 2018.

Although CSKA rounded off an improbable double over thirteen-time winners Real in Group G, following up their 1-0 win in Moscow in October, the Russian capital club still finished dead last of the bunch, thus ending their European campaign this season.

A 2-1 win for Czech team Viktoria Plzen in the group's other match against AS Roma consigned CSKA to a bittersweet last placed finish.  

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CSKA did, however, make it three wins in major football tournaments by Russian teams over Spanish counterparts, with their two wins complementing Russia's penalty shootout win over Spain in the second round of this summer's 2018 World Cup. 

Spain skipper that day Sergio Ramos did not take to the field on Wednesday night, as Real were already through as winner. However, the likes of world stars Gareth Bale, Isco, Marco Asensio, Marcelo and Toni Kroos were all on show, plus all three goals scored past Thibaut Courtois in goal, taking nothing away from CSKA's feat.

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The long-awaited Copa Libertadores final decisive second leg stunningly took place on the same turf on Sunday, and CSKA made sure a victory worthy of that game succeeded that match.

Becoming the youngest non-Spanish player to play for Madrid in the Champions League aged just 18 years and 152 days, Vinicius Jr. showcased exactly why he is being talked about in the same bracket as former Real Madrid Galacticos, providing a octant threat on the left wing. 

On the other flank, Mario Fernandes was the centre of CSKA's energy going forward down the right hand side from wingback and played a hand in one of CSKA's two goals just before half time.

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On 37 minutes, Ivan Oblyakov broke through the middle for a CSKA counter attack and laid the ball on for Arnor Sigurdsson to carry up to the 18 yard line, before finding Fedor Chalov on the edge of the box.  

The Russian Premier League top scorer had time to take a took, steady onto his left foot and curl the ball delightfully into Courtois's far right hand corner.

With that deft finish, CSKA led 1-0, just as they had done at Luzhniki Stadium. 

Minutes later and CSKA doubled the lead. Mario Fernandes broke forward and forced the ball to ricochet off a downed Real defender into the air. The ball dropped for an onrushing Georgi Shchennikov, who had risen from defending an Asensio free kick earlier in the half, to volley into an almost empty net with Courtois committed on 43 minutes to ensure CSKA went into the half time ahead and surely in shock.

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After the restart and, seizing their only chance to continue their European campaign this season, CSKA controlled much of the possession for early part of second half.

Isco dragged shot horribly wide at the other end, but Igor Akinfeev, the Russian goalkeeping hero that night on July 1 against Spain, never looked for a second like he would need his fabled left leg to keep out Europe's most successful club in history.

Fernandes again played it into Vlasic who had all the time in the world in the Real box to play back to Sigurdsson, who curled calmly to beat Courtois on his far right hand side for the second time in one night.

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Asensio firing across goal and wide in last minutes of the second half was Real's best chance on goal, but the score stayed the same to etch another famous night of in the annals of Russian football history, and another in 2018.

CSKA were left to celebrate a momentous night in Europe, defeating Real for a second time in the same group, keeping a clean sheet in both matches. 

However, it was bittersweet, as Viktoria Plzen won 2-1 at home to Roma, meaning they and not CSKA would finish in third place and clinched that Europa League spot.

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