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CSKA thrash Arsenal Tula to boost CL hopes

Moscow (AFP) – CSKA Moscow moved a step closer to claiming a place in next season’s Champions League third qualifying round after they thrashed lowly Arsenal Tula 3-0 on Friday.

A brace by teenager Fedor Chalov and a goal by Israeli international Bebars Natcho fired the Red Army side to a well-deserved victory, consolidating second place in the Russian league.

CSKA, who have suffered only one defeat in their last 16 Premier League matches, are now four points ahead of third-placed Zenit St Petersburg, who face relegation-threatened Samara on Saturday.

Newly-crowned champions Spartak Moscow visit Amkar Perm also Saturday.

“It was a rare case when we did everything right and really enjoyed the match,” CSKA manager Viktor Gancharenko said.

“Hopefully our supporters were also happy. And of course it was really important to gain all three points today with just two games remaining.”

CSKA pinned Tula back from the kick-off but the visitors, who desperately needed points to avoid relegation, defended in numbers and fended off the hosts in the opening half-hour.

However, Natcho put CSKA in front in the 31st minute with a precise spot-kick after Oleg Vlasov chopped down 19-year-old Chalov in the area.

Chalov added his goal 10 minutes later to give CSKA a comfortable 2-0 lead at halftime. 

Eight minutes after the interval Chalov added his second with a close-range header from Georgy Shchennikov’s cross from the left.

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