CSKA Moscow vs Manchester City analysis: Five things we learnt, including an interested Yaya Toure makes all the difference

The Premier League champions were held to a frustrating draw

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The Independent Online

Manchester City ended up drawing their game against CSKA Moscow despite holding a two goal advantage. Here, we take a look at the lessons that will have been learned.

1. City must learn to see games out to have any hope

After conceding in injury time at Bayern and surrendering the lead against Roma, City again threw away points through inexperience and naivety. Granted the late penalty award was soft but Aleksandar Kolarov still put himself in that situation, leaving City with it all to do.

2. Aguero’s fitness is key to City chances of success

After being eased back into action following his World Cup exploits - starting just two of City’s first six games - Sergio Aguero has rediscovered his best form and keeping him fit is will be pivotal for Manuel Pellegrini. The Argentine has either scored or assisted eight of City’s last nine goals in all competitions, doing both against CSKA.

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3. An interested Yaya Toure makes all the difference

For all the eventual ease of their victory, City were troubled for spells by Tottenham’s midfield on Saturday in the absence of the rested Yaya Toure. The Ivorian was influential in last season’s run-in but has barely registered for City this campaign and shone only intermittently in Russia. He helped create Milner’s goal but faded after the break - to the ire of teammates - and City paid the price badly.

 

4. Vincent Kompany needs a regular partner

City have kept just three clean sheets in 13 games this season and that can be attributed to continued changes in central defence. The pairing was altered for the seventh match in succession - Martin Demichelis making way for Eliaquim Mangala - and the unfamiliarity was prevalent as City wilted toward the end.

5. Where there’s a will, there’s a way for the fans

Rows of empty blue seats greeted the players as they took to the field - something City players would no doubt be used to from the Etihad - but some enterprising fellows still found a way round the Uefa ban. While some travelling City fans rented out apartment blocks overlooking the stadium, a section of the stand allocated to supporters consisted of general home fans. The atmosphere generated from the stands can not be underestimated, and helped CSKA mount their comeback.

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