City outclass Gladbach in dominant display

CSKA Moscow battle back to draw with Bayer Leverkusen


Bayer Leverkusen are on the verge of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages after a 1-1 draw away to CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.

Kevin Volland gave Leverkusen the lead in the 17th minute from close range after he was left unmarked at a free kick. Leverkusen gave away a needless penalty with Benjamin Henrichs' clumsy challenge on Mario Fernandes, but Bibras Natcho's 76th-minute spot kick wasn't enough to keep the fourth-placed Russian team's hopes of qualifying alive.

Leverkusen will be assured of qualifying if Monaco beat Tottenham later on Tuesday.

Leverkusen remained unbeaten but had to settle for a fourth draw of the group stage after Volland hit the post in the 80th minute. CSKA could have stolen a win a minute later, but the tired midfielder Alan Dzagoev, playing for the first time since September due to injury, missed the target.

CSKA were playing with a diminished squad, with 18-year-old Fyodor Chalov making his European debut up front and just four outfield players as substitutes, none of them midfielders.

Financial concerns kept the Russian team's squad small even before recent injuries and a suspension last week for midfielder Roman Eremenko, who tested positive for cocaine following the 2-2 draw with Leverkusen in Germany in September.

It is the fourth season in a row that CSKA have failed to qualify from the group stage, and the Russian champions have not won any of their last nine games in Europe's top competition.

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