Champions League: Real Madrid embarrassed by CSKA Moscow in record home loss
(CNN)Real Madrid was already assured of a place in the knockout phase of the Champions League heading into the final match day but for a club of its stature, there is no such thing as a meaningless game.
It was Los Blancos’ worst ever European defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and the first time they lost a group stage game at home since 2009.
Just as surprising was CSKA Moscow doing the double over Real Madrid — winning 1-0 in Russia in October — yet not even finishing in a Europa League position. CSKA was pipped by Plzen, which defeated the other team in the group already through, Roma, 2-1.
That result will pile even more pressure on Roma boss Eusebio di Francesco, whose side are now winless in five games and blew a late two-goal advantage to Cagliari in Serie A last weekend.
Even though Solari — who replaced Julen Lopetegui in October — fielded the youngest Real Madrid side since 2005, the host still featured the likes of Karim Benzema, Marcelo, Isco and Marco Asensio. And Gareth Bale, he of the dazzling bicycle kick against Liverpool in last season’s final, played all of the second half.
But by the time the Welshman came on, CSKA led 2-0 thanks to a 37th-minute strike from Fedor Chalov and 43rd-minute effort from Georgi Schennikov. Arnor Sigurdsson rounded out Real Madrid’s misery in the 73rd minute.
Only one spot remains in the round of 16, to be filled by Shakhtar Donetsk or Lyon in Group F.