The Red Devils were in fine form for their second outing in the CL group stage, led by the fiery trio, Lukaku-Martial-Mkhitaryan, and they cruised to yet another victory this time in Moscow against a rather subdued CSKA Moscow side. Martial particularly was on fire for this game, and as expected, Lukaku proved he’s fit for the team as he continued his scoring run as well.
In a noisy atmosphere led by the home supporters in Moscow, United had a lively start, and took matters in their hands from the 4th minute, as Martial delivered a weighted cross to Lukaku, and the latter powered home with his head to open the score. CSKA however responded immediately as Dzagoev let fly from outside the box, but De Gea was vigilant and parried the shot. United however kept the pressure on the hosts, and Mkhitaryan almost doubled the lead on the 11th minute, only for Akinfeev to produce a reflex save to deny him. United were rewarded thou for their perseverance on the 18th minute, as Schennikov slid in the box, only to take out Mkhitaryan. Penalty was awarded, and Martial stepped up to calmly wrong-foot the keeper for the second goal. CSKA broke again at the other end as United’s experimental back three allowed them some space, and Golovin’s effort flew wide off the post as the Russian side tried to get back. United however kept the ball, and scored again on the 26th minute as Martial ran riot on his left wing. He took on his marker before releasing what looked like a harmless cross, only for the ball to be missed by Berezutski and Lukaku found himself onside and unmarked in front of goal to pounce and stab home the loose ball. With a 3-goal advantage, the Red Devils lifted their feet off the ball, and nearly paid the price twice, as first Chalov forced De Gea into a brilliant save after he forced his way through the box and unleashed a powerful shot towards the top of the net, only for the keeper to stretch himself and palm the ball over the bar, then Vitinho had a powerful attempt from outside the box, which De Gea held on to. In one final attempt before half time, Dzagoev saw his shot saved again as De Gea became the busier of the 2 keepers.
CSKA started the second half on a high, as Golovin tried his luck again without causing any trouble, while at the other end, Lukaku had a chance to score as well, only to be denied by Akinfeev. United however added a fourth goal on the 57th minute, as Martial’s attempt was parried by Akinfeev, but Mkhitaryan was on hand to slot home the loose ball to definitely seal the result. Martial had another chance on the hour mark, but was denied again by the Russian international. The several substitutions brought about by both sides zapped out the energy of the game, but CSKA finally managed to get one back on the 90th minute, as Kuchaev managed to finish off at the near post, with De Gea left kicking himself for letting that one in. However United had the win secured before that goal went in, and now have to turn their focus back to the EPL for Saturday’s clash against Crystal Palace.