By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City secured a crucial three points away at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, holding out for a 2-1 win courtesy of a Sergio Aguero brace.
Manuel Pellegrini made several changes following City’s last outing – the 3-1 away win against West Ham – and Micah lined up among the substitutes in what was a cold Arena Khimki.
Yaya Toure and Aguero spurned early opportunities in a lively opening 15 minutes, whilst makeshift centreback Javia Garcia’s slip allowed Seydou Doumbia to race clear, only for Matija Nastasic to make a crucial intervention.
Zoran Tosic was looking lively for the reigning Russian champions and it was he who gave the hosts the lead just past the half hour mark. Honda flicked on a long ball forward and Tosic beat Pablo Zabaleta to it before flicking over the advancing Joe Hart to make it 1-0.
If City fans feared the worst, the on-fire Aguero had restored parity two minutes later. David Silva picked out his man and the Argentina international worked some space before poking the ball beyond Igor Akinfeev to make it 1-1.
With CSKA reeling, Aguero grabbed his second to nudge the visitors in front. Alvaro Negredo, who is forming an ever-potent partnership with Aguero, chipped in a cross that his strike-partner won the race to, nudging home with a header to edge Pellegrini’s men in front.
Understandably in far from ideal conditions, including alleged racist chanting from the stands, City seemed more keen not to lose than to press for a third, allowing CSKA space to attack. Led by Tosic and ably supported by Honda and Doumbia, the home side continued to push for an equalizer of their own, only to be spurned by Hart and his defence on several occasions.
In the dying seconds Hart was called on to deny Honda from close range, his save proving as a good as a goal with the goal at the CSKA man’s mercy, and City held out for the win to return to Manchester in a strong position in group D.
CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev; Nababkin, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Shchennikov, Tosic, Wernbloom, Milanov, Zuber, Honda, Doumbia
Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, García, Nastasic, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Touré, Navas, Agüero, Silva, Negredo