CSKA Moscow Vs. Real Madrid, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Cristiano Ronaldo Goal Has Madrid Up At Halftime

Real Madrid lead CSKA Moscow 1-0 at halftime of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16, first leg match at the Luzhniki Stadium, meaning the hosts are in some serious trouble. No matter how the second 45 minutes goes, they're already in some trouble for giving up an away goal. If they don't force a draw in this match, their Champions League run will be all but over before they head to the Santiago Bernabeu, and they need a win to like their chances in the second leg.

CSKA actually created the first real attack of the game, with left back Georgy Shennikov putting in a dangerous cross in the 7th minute. Alan Dzagoev had to make an adjustment to be able to get a shot off, but didn't get himself turned all the way around and fired a left-footed volley wide of the goal.

Karim Benzema got off his first shot in the 14th minute, and that shot would be his last. He picked up an upper leg injury, either a groin or thigh, while taking the shot and had to come off injured. In a display of Madrid's embarrassment of riches, he was replaced by Gonzalo Higuain, who actually has one more goal in all competitions than the in-form French international.

Higuain almost scored with his first kick of the ball. In the 17th minute, he unleashed a great shot at Sergei Chepchugov, who got down well and saved. The rebound fell to Sami Khedira and Chepchugov did brilliantly to get across his goal and make an even better save on Khedira to preserve his clean sheet.

That clean sheet eventually fell in the 28th minute with Cristiano Ronaldo's goal. Fabio Coentrao created the chance with a cross, which was dealt with poorly by Zoran Tosic. The winger's poor clearance fell right to Ronaldo, who hit a left-footed half-volley past Chepchugov to give his team the lead.

CSKA have looked threatening on the counter on plenty of occasions, but haven't tested Iker Casillas. Madrid are doing well to keep the ball, and with a 1-0 lead on the road, they might be content to keep possession in the second half.

For more on Los Merengues, check out Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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