Spartak surprisingly started on the front foot and took the game to their bitter rivals as a quickfire double attempt from Movsisyan and Yakovlev was saved excellently by Igor Akinfeev, who was on top form throughout the match. About a quarter of an hour in, the release of several flares in the crowd caused smoke to obscure the majority of the pitch from the stands. The smoke remained thick for the following ten minutes of the match and when it cleared, Ognen Vukojevic had picked up a yellow card and Spartak had gained the upper hand. What followed was a series of Spartak free kicks as Pontus Wernbloom and Aleksandrs Cauna kicked out at their Spartak counterparts time after time. As the half progressed further, Spartak's rigid positions benefited them as they held possession while CSKA's fluid band of 3 behind the striker seemed unsure which of them should drop deep to help the double pivot. CSKA continued to struggle up to the break, ultimately conceding minutes before the break when a good passing move fell to Aiden McGeady, who sent an excellent long range shot past Akinfeev to take Spartak into the break in the lead.
Man of the Match: Alan Dzagoev
Dzagoev was quiet in the first half, but the introduction of Keisuke Honda compressed the pitch and allowed Dzagoev to work the ball in tight spaces. The attacking midfielder created several excellent chances and the equalising penalty was excellently taken.