Grafite guns down CSKA
Brazilian ace's hat-trick earns Wolfsburg opening game win
Last Updated: 15/09/09 10:26pm
Grafite: Hat-trick hero
Wolfsburg celebrated their first game in the UEFA Champions League with a 3-1 victory over CSKA Moscow as Grafite hit a hat-trick.
Brazilian striker Grafite struck twice in the first half for Wolfsburg, breaking the deadlock 10 minutes before half-time and then converting from the penalty spot. on 41 minutes
Alan Dzagoev gave CSKA a glimmer of hope with a crisp finish 15 minutes from time, but Grafite's third goal on 87 minutes killed the game off.
The only meaningful shot before Wolfsburg took the lead arrived on seven minutes when Christian Gentner pounced on a slip by Sergei Ignashevich on the edge of the area and fired a low shot which Igor Akinfeev saved with his legs.
CSKA, under new coach Juande Ramos, were content to patiently pass the ball around in deep positions and rarely threatened as an attacking force.
The only occasion they had a glimpse of the Wolfsburg goal in the first half came on 30 minutes when Milos Krasic nipped in behind the defence, but was unable to gather Dzagoev's pass.
Wolfsburg made the breakthrough 10 minutes before half-time when the Zvjezdan Misimovic threaded a pass behind the visiting defence and Grafite galloped clear to slot the ball through the exposed Akinfeev's legs from the edge of the box.
The German champions were then gifted a second goal four minutes before the interval following a needless foul by Deividas Semberas.
Obafemi Martins' cross from the right was likely to be comfortably collected by Akinfeev, only for Semberas to pull back Grafite, who rolled his penalty inside the post.
CSKA were much improved after the break and had their first shot in anger on 50 minutes, although Evgeniy Aldonin failed to test Wolfsburg keeper Diego Benaglio as his 25-yard drive flew over the bar.
The 2005 Uefa Cup winners should have pulled a goal back midway through the second half, but somehow Dzagoev and substitute Nika Piliev - making his debut - failed to apply a finishing touch to Krasic's excellent cross.
Dzagoev then glanced a header narrowly past the post before the Russian Young Player of the Year got CSKA back in the game with 15 minutes to go.
Guilherme's pass played Dzagoev in behind the home defence and the highly-rated striker kept his cool to fire his shot past Benaglio.
But CSKA's hopes of snatching a draw were dashed three minutes from time when Grafite completed his hat-trick with a smart turn and shot after Edin Dzeko's persistence unsettled the visiting defence.
Dzagoev should have scored his second of the night in the final minute, but he volleyed wildly over the crossbar after Krasic's clever cross had taken Benaglio out of the equation.
|VfL Wolfsburg||Team Statistics||CSKA Moscow|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||4|
|9||Shots off Target||6|
UEFA Champions League
Tue 15th Sep - Group B
Besiktas0 - 1Man Utd
Wolfsburg3 - 1CSKA Mosc
Tue 15th Sep - Group D
A Madrid0 - 0Apoel Nicosia
Chelsea1 - 0FC Porto
Tue 15th Sep - Group A
Maccabi Haifa0 - 3Bay Munich
Juventus1 - 1Bordeaux
Tue 15th Sep - Group C
FC Zurich2 - 5R Madrid
Marseille1 - 2AC Milan
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H