Tottis Roma foiled by Berezutskys late show for CSKA

Vasily Berezutsky’s equaliser deep in injury time earned CSKA Moscow an unlikely 1-1 draw with Roma on Tuesday after Francesco Totti enhanced his standing as the Champions League’s oldest goalscorer.

Totti, who claimed the scoring record against Manchester City in September, put Roma in front in the 43rd minute at the age of 38 years, one month and 29 days.

That appeared to be enough to secure Roma the win in freezing conditions until Berezutsky’s cross evaded the Italian defence and slotted into the far corner in the 93rd minute.

The stalemate in front of an eerily empty Khimki Arena, as CSKA served a spectator ban, left Roma and the Muscovites on five points apiece, with the Italians occupying second on their head-to-head record.

Already qualified Bayern Munich are at Manchester City later Tuesday with City, on two points, requiring a win to boost their flagging qualification hopes.

Roma still have their knockout stage destiny in their own hands as a win against City in a fortnight will see them through.

“We feel a slight disappointment with the result,” Roma coach Rudi Garcia said.

“The match was almost won but the last-minute goal spoiled the impression about the game.

“But our fate is still in our hands as victory over City would guarantee us a place in the play-offs.”

Roma, who had seen off CSKA 5-1 on the Russian champions’ visit to Italy, began confidently, dominating possession.

But it was the Red Army side who created the first real chance when Israeli playmaker Bebras Natcho lobbed the ball into the box to Alan Dzagoev, who failed to redirect it into the net from 12 yards.

Totti broke the deadlock with a powerful 18-yard freekick into the top left-hand corner, past the outstretched hands of CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, two minutes from the break.

Roma’s Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan had a clear opportunity to double his side’s lead just before the hour mark as he picked up the ball and worked his way into the area but his close-range shot went just inches past the far left post.

CSKA then stunned Roma in the third minute of stoppage time as Berezutsky beat De Sanctis with a left-handed cross which flew through Italian traffic and into the far corner.

“We failed to show out best football tonight but I think that the game was even and the draw looks a fair outcome,” Berezutsky said.

“The draw is an appropriate result as it gives us the possibility to advance.”


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