Russia side, CSKA Moskva, dominated the 25th round of the Russian Premier League with the win over Dinamo Moskva.
The victory ensures the side has only lost one game in the last five matches.
The loss was against fourth-placed Zenit in an away match in early April. After the loss, the team picked itself up and went on to demolish Mordovia Saransk 7-1 at home. Subsequently, they played a 1-1 draw with Lokomotiv Moskva then went on to defeat Krasnodar and then recently, Dinamo Mosva.
The 25th round witnessed CSKA stars getting top ratings. Aleksei Berezutskiy was the best rated player of this round in many climes. He was the scorer of the winning goal as CSKA Moscow recorded 1-0 win against Dynamo Moscow. Aside from the goal, Berezutskiy showed great performance in defense along with his partner Sergey Ignashevich. Pontus Wernbloom is another player from CSKA Moscow to get top ratings for his performance in the 25th round of games.
The victory sets the team up for the top of the table if they continue with the consistent good performance, especially since just a point separates them from the first placed team, Rostov.
CSKA Moskva have garnered 50 points this season from 24 matches while Rostov are a point ahead from the same number of games played. The team will face Zenit St Petersburg in next month's Russian Cup final after beating Amkar Perm and FC Krasnodar respectively in the semi-finals.
Zenit defeated Amkar 4-3 in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw after extra time, while CSKA reached the final for the 11th time with a commanding 3-1 victory. The two top Russian outfits, who together have won nine of the country's last 12 league titles, will face off at Kazan Arena on May 2 in a repeat of the 2002 final, won 2-0 by CSKA.
CSKA Moscow is currently located at the top of the Russian Premier League after having collected 43 points from their opening 21 league matches. Leonid Slutsky is the manager of CSKA Moscow and he is aiming to win the Russian league with his club, so far things have been going according to plan for Leonid Slutsky and his team.
Even though CSKA Moscow has been doing fairly impressively in this season, the center of attention is being directed to away from the Russian club and more towards a specific player which in this case is Ahmed Musa.
Ahmed Musa is a 23 year old Nigerian footballer who is performing for CSKA Moscow with a contract that runs until 2019 but his time with the Russian club might be ending sooner than expected and this is due to the fact that the young attacker is being eyed as a summer signing for a few different clubs.
Leicester City is one of the clubs of the Premier League that have shown most interest in signing Ahmed Musa and the Director General of CSKA Moscow, Roman Babayev said that they will be listening to offers for Ahmed Musa in the summer transfer window.
“It is not right to keep the player when he has offers from the Premier League for the right price. Several English clubs are actively interested in Musa. And not just English sides. Footballer faithfully served CSKA and not to let him go to the best league of the world from our side would be incorrect.” CSKA Moscow’s Roman Babayev said.
The Russian club has already turned down offers from Leicester City and other clubs in the past but CSKA Moscow wasn’t prepared to offload Ahmed Musa, however they are now willing to let him go but it’s believed that the interested club will have to splash out around £15million in order to secure the services of the highly rated offensive winger.
It was another dismal show by CSKA Moscow yesterday at the Anzhi Arena as they could not force a win.
This one was perhaps a tad better than some of their recent performances, but, it was still not up to the standard that is expected off CSKA.
The Reds had lost their previous three matches on the trot, two in the League and one in Europe, and were under pressure to break the winless run taking on the last positioned Makhachkala, but, they did not manage to do so.
However, in spite of suffering a bit of a slump, they have still kept themselves at the top of the pile in the Russian first flight.
Speaking to media, Leonid Slutsky, the head coach of CSKA, said, “We are struggling. It’s not the result we were looking for.”
“Things were in control at the beginning, but, coming back from the break, the energy was not there. We were not mobile.”
“It was not a winning performance, that’s for sure.”
For Anzhi Makhachkala though, that one point held a lot of importance as it helped them move slightly up in the table. They have got a total of 15 points now.
In the words of Anzhi boss Agalarov, “Each point is very, very important as far as we are concerned.”
“We had opportunities to net on one or two more occasions. If we had succeeded to do so, it would have been wonderful, but, we are happy with one point.”
Anzhi is going to play against another Moscow based team next, that is Dynamo Moscow.
It will be an away match.
Dynamo is not too much ahead of Anzhi in the standings. They are also in the bottom half with 17 points only.
Despite not having got to play that many games in the recent times, Emmanuel Adebayor still seems to be happy at Tottenham and he wishes to pursue his career there for another year.
But, the stories suggest the Spurs are on a look out for a buyer for him and he might be on his way out.
Adebayor performed well playing for his country Togo versus Liberia the previous weekend scoring a match winning goal and contributing to a 2-1 win.
But, that would probably not change his situation as far as the White Hart Lane is concerned.
There were a few interests for Adebayor during the mid season transfer window, but, the Tottenham owner Mr. Levy had opted not to sell him at that point of time for the reason best known to him.
But, as per the sources, the 31-year old forward is now definitely going to be on sale this summer.
However, talking to a television presenter, Adebayor dropped strong hints that he was staying in the Spurs’ camp.
The veteran was quoted as saying, “I am quite passionate about playing for Tottenham and I want to deliver the coming season.”
Adebayor has had problems in his personal life as well lately.
In the fag-end of the Premier League the previous season, he had shocked everyone by saying he had considered ending his life on occasions in the past.
Immediately, after that, Tottenham granted him the leave citing his mental instability.
The Togolese remained out in the last few games of the 2014-15 Season.
Thereafter, he did not accompany the Spurs squad on the pre season overseas visits either.
But, post the Togo-Liberia game, he insisted that he was ‘fresh’ and was raring to go again.
Adebayor has scored 41 goals in Tottenham shirt till date.
Ivory Coast international Seydou Doumbia has been on the eyes of many top European clubs over the last few years after his impressive performances for Russian outfit CSKA Moscow.
Doumbia has been the flag bearer for CSKA in the Champions League and in the league. After having won two Russian league titles and two Russian cups,Doumbia has decided to bring an end to this CSKA adventure at the end of this January transfer window.
He has moved to Italian outfit Roma for around £ 10 million. The fee will increase to £ 12 million depending upon the performances.
Speaking about the move, the 27-year-old stated that he is extremely happy to rejoining an illustrious club in one of the top leagues in Europe. Roma are considered as one of the elite Italian clubs and they boast a strong line-up featuring the likes of Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi, andDoumbia’s international teammate Gervinho. They have been challenging for the league title in the past two seasons under the management of Rudi Garcia. The arrival of Doumbiawill make even better considering that Roma already have a number of good goalscorers.Doumbia played for CSKA from 2010 and he has scored 84 goals in 130 appearances.
“I am of course delighted to join a club of Roma's standing and to play in such a high-level Championship. Developing alongside players like [Francesco] Totti, [Miralem] Pjanic, Gervinho, [Daniele] De Rossi and having a Coach [Rudi Garcia] who plays a resolutely offensive game will surely allow me to reach the next level.I haven't set myself any objectives. I don't think in those terms. I want above all else to integrate myself in the group and give my contribution to win matches,” said Doumbia. Ljajić is the top scorer in the Roma team with eight league goals.
CSKA Moscow manager Leonid Slutsky says that he is confident that his team have learned from their mistakes committed in the first few matches of the Champions League group stages.
The Russian team were not given much of an opportunity to reach the last 16 stage of the competition due to being placed in one of the toughest groups. The likes of Bayern Munich, Roma, and Manchester City are seen as the competitors for the top two places, which will guarantee progression to the next round. CSKA have so far kept their hopes of qualification alive, but it has largely been due to other teams dropping points.
A 5-1 hammering at the hands of Roma in the opening group match threatened to end the qualification hopes even before it began, but Leonid Slutsky’s has managed to provide new confidence to the team. They have since suffered only one defeat while also managing to pick up crucial win over Manchester City away from home. This has put the team on the brink of getting into the top two places with two matches remaining. They need to get three points against Roma at home in order to stand any chance of an unlikely miracle.Slutsky says that the lessons learned from the first game will help them get three points.
"We have a good chance of qualifying from the group and we need to use this opportunity. We know from our first match against Roma that they are a very strong side.Tomorrow's match will show if we have learned from our mistakes.We have problems in defensive midfield and we are looking to solve this.The loss of Natkho is a blow, and tonight we will know if Pontus Wernbloom will be able to play," said Slutsky ahead of the game.
CSKA Moscow has to face off against: As.Roma, Bayern Munich and Manchester City in their journey of competing and trying to survive in the next edition of the Champions League. All of those opponents are top clubs that are playing in their respective leagues and this will certainly not be an easy ride for the Russian side CSKA Moscow as they have to lock horns with some of the best clubs in the world and try to get positive results in order to advance into the next stages of the Champions League.
The toughest opponents that they have to face arguably are Bayern Munich as Pep Guardiola has turned the German club into true competitors of winning it all this season.
In the last season of the Champions League fans of CSKA Moscow launched racist chants and symbols in their away match with Viktoria Plzen, this resulted with the Russian club receiving a partial stadium ban against Bayern Munich and since the club already had another partial stadium ban, this means that the next home match of CSKA Moscow in the Champions League of the current season the fans of the Russian side will not be allowed to enter the stadium at all.
The next home match of CSKA Moscow is on September 30 as they host and receive Bayern Munich at the Arena Khimki which is the own ground of CSKA Moscow and the stadium is expected to be empty due to all of the bans that the club has been receiving since last season for all of the racist comments, shouting from the fans of the team of Leonid Slutsky. These actions have also led to the club having to pay a fine of €50,000.
Atletico Madrid star Raul Garcia has claimed that the club’s former star Fernando Torres will be welcome back at the Vicente Calderon should he decide to join the club. Torres has become a £ 50 million signing for Chelsea, but his poor form with the blues could see him leave the club in the summer. There were a lot of links with Inter Milan a few weeks ago, but it is understood that the Italian club are no longer in the race to sign the 30-year-old. Due to his poor form, Torres is now worth only around £ 20 million as valued by Chelsea.
It has been rumoured that athletic have made a £ 10 million offer for the player, but even then they are quite far away from completing the deal due to a number of reasons. Atletico do not have the means to sustain the £ 8 million per season in wages commanded by Torres. This coupled with Chelsea’s £ 20 million valuation could see the deal drop. For the moment, a return to Spain looks like the ideal solution for all parties. Even though Atletico Madrid recently brought in Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich, the return of Torres will be hailed by fans.
Even after more than seven years after his departure, Torres still remains as an icon in the Atletico Madrid eyes.
“I speak to him [Torres] a lot and he still feels very strongly about this club. His life has been defined by what he experienced here and he is another option just like any other that the media have mentioned. Any great player that can come here will be welcome. If we took every transfer story seriously we would only have about two or three players left here. The club has to manage these things, but Miranda is an important player for us,” said Garcia.
CSKA Moscow managed a 4-0 win over Kuban Krasnodar during the weekend. This was the sixth consecutive league victory for the team and it helped them stay only a couple of points behind table leaders Zenit St Petersburg. The opportunity to win the title still remains a distinct possibility for the club, but they need to be extremely compact and well organised in the next match against Rubin Kazan according to the club manager Leonid Slutsky. Zenit St Petersburg have improved massively after the arrival of former Tottenham and Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.
They have won all of the matches managed by the Portuguese, but Slutsky says that CSKA Moscow should also keep winning matches in order to take advantage of any potential slipups along way. His team remain four points behind table leaders after having played 26 matches up until now. The only defeat for the team in the last five matches came against Krasnodar in the cup. Slutsky has stated that CSKA Moscow will receive a major boost with the return of Ahmed Musa and Rasmus Elm for the match against Rubin Kazan. They were unavailable for the 4-0 thrashing during the weekend.
Only the top two teams will be able to play in the Champions League which is also important for Russian clubs.
"We're not working out any long-range plans or strategies. We try to focus on our every single match to get as many points as possible, expecting also for slip-ups by the league leaders. I hope that Nigerian Ahmed Musa and the Swede Rasmus Elm, who have missed our match at Krasnodar, will be able to strengthen us against Rubin," said the CSKA Moscow manager. "Our previous match with bottom-placed Anzhi was really hard as they're are a well-organised and uncompromising team and the home win was their last chance to avoid relegation," said Villas-Boas about his team’s match.
The Serbian Football Association wishes for giving the charge of the national side to Aleksandar Stanojevic, but, they are not likely to succeed in doing that because China which is believed to have a bigger budget is also trying to have a deal with the former defender.
Stanojevic has been working in China since almost 3 years now and he has had reasonable amount of success there. He has managed two clubs in the country so far and has helped both of them in pulling off better results.
The 40 years old Yugoslavian had done well as manager in Serbia too when he was in charge of Partizan Belgrade. He had guided them to the league as well as the Cup glory and that too in the same season i.e. 2010-11.
He has built a very good reputation as manager in the last 5 years or so and that’s why, he is being wanted by the football associations of two countries at the same time.
As far as the Serbian team is concerned, they haven’t played that well in the recent times. Their World Cup qualifying campaign was a failure and due to that the previous manager, Sinisa Mihajlovic, quit. There were attempts being made to convince him to reconsider that decision of his, but, he was rigid and he eventually signed for the Italian club Sampdoria.
That forced Serbia officials to start searching the new manager and the first person that they have thought of is Stanojevic.
Taking to the reporters yesterday, the head of the Serbian Football Association Tomislav Karadzic said, “Yes, Stanojevic is on our radar, but, we have got to know that China is also looking to have him. Let’s see what happens.”
Stanojevic hasn’t got the experience of playing international football at senior level. He featured for Yugoslavia only at the U-16 level.