Evening all. And welcome to not-in-the-least-bit-shambolic coverage of the first of the evening's Champions League games.
In something of a boon for an MBMer who has been shunted into service 20 minutes before kick-off and therefore has no preamble, the teams are in:
CSKA Moscow: 1-Sergei Chepchugov; 24-Vasily Berezutsky, 4-Sergei Ignashevich, 6-Alexei Berezutsky, 42-Georgy Shchennikov; 3-Pontus Wernbloom, 22-Yevgeny Aldonin, 21-Zoran Tosic, 10-Alan Dzagoyev; 8-Seydou Doumbia, 18-Ahmed Musa.
Real Madrid: 1-Iker Casillas; 17-Alvaro Arbeloa, 3-Pepe, 4-Sergio Ramos, 15-Fabio Coentrao; 6-Sami Khedira, 14-Xabi Alonso; 10-Mesut Ozil, 21-Jose Callejon, 7-Cristiano Ronaldo; 9-Karim Benzema.
CSKA squeaked through at the expense of Lille and Trabzonspor, and despite the plastic pitch and chilly Russian air, they're not expected to give Real too many problems over the two legs. But you never know. Can Ronaldo and co do it on a cold late Thursday afternoon in Moscow? Let's find out …
Click-clack, click-clack … the teams emerge for the pre-match handshakes. It's -10C at the Luzhniki apparently – even Roy Keane would be in gloves.
Peep! Off we go, then. Real, kicking from right to left, get things under way.
1 min: "I was looking forward to this match because of the prospect seeing Keisuke Honda and Alan Dzagoev playing together," writes Pangeran Siahaan. "I'm gutted seeing Honda is not in the line-up." He's out with a long-term injury, I believe, which is a shame because he's a huge talent.
2 min: Ramos gives the ball away sloppily, but the home side, like Roger Federer failing to win a point on deuce, can't take advantage.
3 min: Ramos, wearing what look like white tights – he's a walking advert for Daz – lumps the ball forward aimlessly.
4 min: Wernbloom clips Ronaldo from behind and gets a stern talking to from the referee.
5 min: Coentrao wriggles down the left touchline but his cross is wilder than Johnny Strabler.
7 min: Musa thunders down the right, Coentrao slides in and brings him down. From the free-kick, CSKA work it back, then down the right with Shchennikov, whose cross finds Dzagoyev. The acrobatic volley is well wide. Nice stuff from the Russian side.
8 min: "Pepe and Sergio Ramos - walking red cards (or red card offences, in Pepe's case)," writes John Davis. "Has there ever been a centre-back pairing less likely to finish a game? Except perhaps Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King, if they ever made it onto the pitch together."
10 min: Zoran Tosic, the former Manchester United man, gets a couple of touches, in a couple of seconds thereby making more of an impact than he did at Old Trafford.
12 min: A superb run from Khedira seemed to end in a trip, but no free-kick given. "Even in a suit of armour the surface can be abrasive," says the Sky Sports commentator nonsensically.
14 min: Benzema has pulled his groin by the looks of it. He was having a pop at goal and seems to have twanged himself. The Real physios have made the twirly-hands-signal, so here comes Gonzalo Higuain.
16 min: That is a superb bit of goalkeeping from Chepchugov. Real pinged the ball around wonderfully to create the space for Higuain. The keeper palmed away his first-time effort, Khedira bobbled the rebound towards goal, but Chepchugov somehow got a fist up to turn the shot over the bar.
18 min: CSKA are dishing out some treatment. Higuain is the latest on the receiving end of Wernbloom's challenge. Actually, replays show the Swede winning the ball above the Argentinian, although surely upper body challenges can be as reckless and dangerous as a lunge with the feet? Either way, Real aren't happy.
21 min: It's all a bit scrappy just now.
22 min: Tosic and Doumbia combine a little clumsily down the right. The home side are matching the visitors thus far, though.
23 min: "Re: Pangeran Siahaan's inquiry on Keisuke Honda," begins Mario Rustan. "Honda's actually on the substitute list, along with a South Korean I never heard before, Kim In-sung. Honda spent most of 2011 sidelined so it's a relief to see him back. Japan need him for their Brazil 2014 campaign."
25 min: Ramos, not for the first time, gives the ball away in his own half. Musa flails his cross wildly on to the running track behind the goal. So many stadiums outside the UK have running tracks – do any of them actually hold athletics meets?
27 min: Ronaldo sends a cross in from the right with more whip than Indiana Jones – it bounces awkwardly but it's well held by Chepchugov.
GOAL!!! CSKA 0-1 Real Madrid (Ronaldo 28) After all his good work, Chepchugov might have done better here, but the real villain of the piece is Zoran Tosic. It's his miserable flopping defensive "header" that drops out to Ronaldo on the edge of the box – the striker is sweeter than a puppy filled with fizzy pop and it squeezes beneath the keeper and in.
30 min: Ozil cuts inside and feeds Alonso, who skims a ball through to Ronaldo. He can't control, though, and CSKA clear.
32 min: Musa skips away from a couple of challenges, but the home side are struggling to string their better moments together. Poor pass follows mazy run, a fine pass is ruined by poor control, etc and so forth.
33 min: Dzagoyev goes down in the box under a Coentrao's challenge. The referee is unmoved, probably correctly.
35 min: Real have had only 53% of the possession, so they're not as dominant as might be expected.
36 min: Casillas has a rush of blood and charges to the edge of the box as Musa threatens. He's well marshalled by Ramos, though. Real break and win a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box …
37 min: … Ronaldo …
38 min: … crashes it into the wall.
39 min: Doumbia flicks a header at goal, but it floats gently wide.
40 min: "Re: Benzema at 14mins," writes Matt Dony. "'Pulled his groin', 'Had a pop', 'Twanged himself', filth! You should be ashamed." Real botch another corner.
42 min: CSKA have got sloppy, but Real aren't exactly cutting through them. "-10?" wonders David Gilmartin. "I drove through the city at 8pm and it was -2. Now about 3km from the stadium and it is only -4.
It was -32 a week ago." I can only go on what I've been told. They may have been misinformed.
44 min: Dzagoyev and Musa, probably CSKA's best outlets thus far, combine nicely but the latter's cross only finds the cosy midrift of Iker Casillas.
Peep! Ozil scuffs a low shot straight at Chepchugov in the final act of the first period. That's half-time – orange segments and Bovril for all.
Half-time advert news … A pub conversation last week strayed (well, I say strayed - it'd be more accurate to say "centred around") Ray Winstone and those disembodied head betting adverts. Are they just plain unspeakably teeth-gratingly awful? Or rather so unspeakably teeth-gratingly awful that there's some ironic pleasure to be had? I'm in the former camp. Others disagree. Any thoughts?
And while I'm sticking it to the poor defenceless commercial break, what's going on with the advert for a popular deoderant in which some "football fans" behind a goal catch a ball above their heads, thus indicating, presumably, the lack of BO eminently stinkily from their underarms. WHY DO THEY CELEBRATE? IT WAS A HUGELY WAYWARD SHOT, MILES OFF TARGET? WHAT THEY HELL ARE THEY SO HAPPY ABOUT?
And then there's the Tetley's Real Men abomination. They're watching football in the pub, fine. Some people seem happy about a goal, some indifferent, a couple seem to think it's ruddy hilarious, one man in the background seems to see it a second or so after everyone else and still punches the air happily. But it's the final second, when the little fellow (who, I'm told, resembles my long lost brother) goes "C'mon". FOR WHAT REASON? WHY DOES HE LEAN IN TO HIS FRIEND TO SAY IT? WHY IS HE SAYING IT SEVERAL SECONDS AFTER A GOAL THAT HE DOESN'T SEEM TO GIVE A MONKEY'S ABOUT? IT'S DRIVING ME MAD.
Ah, I feel better after that. CSKA are back out into the frosty Moscow air (currently estimated at between -3C or -10C).
The referee is having to push Real out onto the pitch. Never seen that before.
Peep! Off we go with part two of this two-part drama.
46 min: The first yellow card of the game … and it's gone to a Real player. Xabi Alonso chops down Musa and picks up a booking.
48 min: Doumbia turns nicely, but his pass is a poor one (see min 32 for details).
49 min: Pepe bundles Doumbia to the deck. Free-kick to CSKA … which is utterly wasted.
50 min: Callejon gets into space inside the are in the inside-left channel, but he skews miserably wide.
52 min:Callejon again has a chance, nipping in ahead of a couple of CSKA defenders, but his shot is well smothered by Chepchugov.
53 min: Lovely ball from Khedira towards Ozil. Ozil, whose had a quiet night, can't collect.
55 min: Right, that's it from me. Time for an early second-half substitution. Rob Bagchi will provide a fresh pair of legs and take you through to full-time.
56 min: Err. Good evening from the dog house caused by schedule cock-up of epic proportions. Xabi Alonso has just wasted a free kick.
58 min: Ozil curls a cross in with his left foot which is cleared upfield where Coentrao wins a free kick from Musa.
60 min: Coentrao and Ronaldo are linking up with decent understanding up the left but one trick too many from Ronaldo cedes territory and, though, Pepe plays it back into the box Higuain is slightly too slow to react.
61 min: Now Doumbia sparks a counter, fed by Aldonin to win CSKA's first corner of the game, taken to the far post by Dzagoyev but Alexei Berezutsky is penalised. From the free kick CSKA waste a shot when Doumbia doesn't look up to roll in Musa and Coentrao once agian breaks up the left.
63 min: Praise for John Ashdown comes from Thomas Nolan: "I'm glad John brought up those horrendous Ray Winstone ads - even thinking of them makes me do a Sideshow Bob-like shudder 'Euuuuuugghh' - they are so bad that after watching a couple of them my response was to give up gambling for good - I closed down my Ladbrokes, Paddy Power & Bet365 accounts and I have turned my back on the gambling world forever - I have done it not because I was losing money (which I was) or because gambling can be addictive - I did it just as punishment for them foisting those unspeakbly horrendous ad's on us (why does the guy have to be bloody well called Dave? 'Awwright Dave' - 'Euuuughhh' - I am happy now and I know I will never bet again..." Chalk that up as a victory for aversion territory. Of goes Musa and on comes Oliseh for CSKA.
65 min: Barry Praag has some tittle tattle: "Rumours are that big RA is at the match either to buy CSKA or meet a certain ex manager of his." Interesting. Ronaldo has just made an uncharacteristic error and given a way a goalkick.
67 min: FYI Big RA is not Raddy Antic or Ron Atkinson but supposedly Roman Abramovich. Wermbloom hauls back Ozil and stalls a Real Madrid attack while conceding a free-kick.
69 min: CSKA bring on Honda for Aldonin, reflecting, perhaps, a desire to go for it. Once again, though, just as CSKA seem to be making progress a clumsy challenge invites Arbeloa to hit the deck and win a free kick then Dzagoyev wins a nothing free-kick off Alonso which wasn't even a hint of a foul. Honda attempts to score from 35 yards but it's a tame effort.
70 min: Lovely deep cross from Oliseh from the right after a classy stepover but Dzagoyev, attempting the bicycle kick invented by Doug Ellis, kicks Arbeloa in the head. "This is the first MBM I can recall being officiated by two Guardian professionals!" writes Ryan Dunne. "Hope you enjoy the goal-line technology style experimentation (although personally if I was in your situation I would, as an eternal pessimist, be worried about ending up as one of those substitutes-who-gets-substituted ;))" Me, too, Ryan. Let's just say I thought it was an evening kick-off and was working on something else 12 miles from the office when I got the call to say "Errr, where are you?"
73 min: My word, here comes Kaka, on for Callejon in a minute. CSKA are probing away 10 yards in front of the Real box but can't find a way through and when they play the pass it's cut out and Real move forward quickly and win a corner after a fine covering tackle.
75 min: The corner is swung in from the left and Ramos leaps to head the ball straight into Chepchugov's hands. He kicks it out but tyhe ball comes straight back at his goal and Ronaldo is through on the right but the keeper makes ground to him rapidly, forcing him wide and dives at Ronaldo's feet to push the shot over.
78 min: "Wait, this is such a distraction. How can we tell this is not John Ashdown who's still doing the MBM, who chose to praise himself in the 63th min. I'm sending this to Rob Bagchi's email which is not listed anywhere in MBM," writes Ujang Djang. Praising yourself, it could catch on. Coentrao fails to trap Higuain's pass back and Oliseh steals in but can't get any power into his shot, which may have been a pass given it's (lack of) weight.
80 min: The ball's pinballing around the midfield, each pass slightly heavier than the last but Real Madrid finally win possession and slow the tempo down. They look to tippy tappy it towards the box but Oliseh steals in and sprints up the right, plays a one-two with Doumbia, but Coentrao makes a sliding foul to stop him.
82 min: Although the CSKA free-kick is out wide on the right, Honda curls it towards the keeper with his left and Casillas dives forward to fist it away.
84 min: Ronaldo has a snap shot on the edge of the area which he screws wide. Off goes Ozil and on comes Albiol.
85 min: Good ball over the top of the CSKA midfield from Xabi Alonso finds the onrushing Ronaldo on the left but Berezutsky Minor is wise to the danger and strongly shepherds him and the ball out of play.
87 min: A massive Row Z clearance from Ramos goes fully 70 yards upfield and towards Chepchugov. Odd to see him resort to it so often.
89 min: Not much happening as Real settle for keeping the ball inside the CSKA half, tapping it between Ronaldo, Kaka and Xabi Alonso.
90 min: After a brief CSKA foray Ronaldo has a run up the left then switches the ball over to Khedira on the right but Higuain strays offside.
90 min+1:Late scare when a cross from Oliseh comes in from the right but Pepe defends strongly and clears, seconds later Ramos stands up and robs the ball off Dzagoyev's toe.
GOAL!! CSKA 1-1 Real Madrid (Wernbloom) They've been putting some teasing crosses in throughout but failed to get numbers into the box but from this late free kick the ball is flicked on at the near post to the back where it's headed back to Wernbloom who lashes his volley into the net.
Peep, peep, peep Full time. Please press F5 if the goal description isn't there.
Full time: A highly competent performance from Real Madrid was undone right at the death when Pontus Wernbloom grabbed a late equaliser. Interesting game, from the little I saw of it, but one would expect Real to have enough to go through in the home leg. Please join Paul Doyle for the Napoli v Chelsea game at 7pm. Thanks to John Ashdown and to you. Good night.