A poor match on a poor pitch against a poor team was matched by a poor performance from us, we did however secure the all important three points in Moscow.
Lets start with the pitch, it was terrible and it definitely effected our game, how UEFA passed it is beyond me. Now I am not someone who thinks that the players need the luxury of the perfect pitch, I do however believe the pitch in Moscow was unplayable, particularly for a professional match at this level. The fresh lick of paint that they gave it didn't cover up the fact that it was lacking grass and that the grass it did have wasn't sown. I have qualifications which I gained just a few years ago in regard to this area of expertise and my minimally experienced eye could see that it wasn't playable, so I would love to know who the guys are that carry out the inspections.
Whilst the pitch didn't compliment our fluent style of football, it couldn't be blamed for our all round poor performance. I will start with Pellegrini's decision to play Garcia at centre half again, the lad just isn't suited to that position, he is not quick enough and does not read the game well enough to be a centre half, Pellegrini needs to give Richards his chance there because he wants it and it makes sense.
The defending was bad all round tonight, the midfield was lacking again and left us exposed, it did improve in the second half with Yaya and Ferna getting more involved but it was by no means up to the level that we expect, I think Pellegrini needs to realise that sometimes we need that extra body in the middle to pick up some of the slack.
We weren't playing a good side tonight, they were poor and as bad as we were, we still looked very comfortable at times against them. I think all things considered, the bad pitch, cold temperatures and the makeshift defenders, this was a very good result away from home. Obviously we can play much much better than we did tonight but the most important thing was the points, which just to mention were kept safe by Joe Hart who made a brilliant save right at the death.
To round up, if we can play below par and win, it will do for me. Following the victory tonight I would think that a win at home against CSKA will see us through the group stages.