Real Madrid capitulate to CSKA in Champions League
It was a depressing night for Real Madrid in their last game in Group G of the Champions League as they were thumped 0-3 by CSKA Moscow.
Real Madrid vs CSKA Moscow live online: as it happened
Real Madrid vs CSKA Moscow live online: match preview
Santiago Solari may not have started the 2018/19 Champions League campaign, but he will bring it to a close. Qualification for the knockout stages has already been achieved so tonight the home manager can give some of his so-called fringe players a chance to impress him and the Bernabéu crowd that they deserve a place in a far-from-convincing first team. Moscow arrive in the Spanish capital sitting bottom of Group G, but in the knowledge that if they better the result of Plzen (who play Roma), a place in the Europa League is theirs.
Winning both games against Roma secured first place in the group, as well as the 9.5 million euros that comes with it. Pressure off the result means more pitch time for those that were given a run-out against Melilla in the Copa del Rey, a goal-fest, but not one on which to rest any laurels. Players like Isco and Asensio were nailed on for starts under doomed manager Julen Lopetegui. Solari has, as yet, been less convinced. Keylor and Vinicius are also expected to be included in the starting side: one a regular in the European success under Zidane, the other, an interesting story unfolding, but still in the first chapter.
The Russians arrive with the opportunity to extend their stay in European competition into the new year and will fancy their chances knowing that there will be some changes made by Solari. Not only that, in the reverse fixture they emerged victorious over the Champions League holders. How adventurous Viktor Goncharenko goes at the Madrid defence could be key to them becoming the first side to beat Los Blancos home and away in the same group stage since Juve in 2008/09.