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Roux must rouse Auxerre for CSKA

Tuesday, 29 March 2005

[1] PFC CSKA Moskva and AJ Auxerre have never met in UEFA club competition, and this match will be the first time the French club have faced opposition from either Russia or the former Soviet Union in 106 previous European encounters. However, CSKA have previously met French opposition in two seasons of UEFA Champions League football; the first campaign and this one.CSKA were drawn in Group A with Olympique de Marseille in the inaugural Champions League in 1992/93. They drew 1-1 at CSKA's s'home' ground, the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Sportspark in Berlin, with Abedi Pelé's 27th-minute opener cancelled out by Ihzat Faizulin ten minutes into the second half. A fortnight later, Marseille turned on the heat at the Vélodrome with a hat-trick from Franck Sauzee and further goals from Pelé, Jean-Marc Ferreri and a 24-year-old Marcel Desailly taking them to a then-record 6-0 win en route to lifting the trophy.CSKA's next meeting with a French club took place earlier this season in Group H of the Champions League, where they confronted Paris Saint-Germain FC. Goals from Sergei Semak and Vágner Love gave CSKA a 2-0 win at the Lokomotiv stadium. Semak played a captain's role in the return fixture at Parc des Princes as CSKA cruised to a 3-1 success. At that stage the Moscow club seemed set for the knockout stages, but a late run of form from holders FC Porto pushed CSKA into the UEFA Cup.However, the Muscovites have flourished in the competition, reaching the quarter-final stage with wins against SL Benfica and FK Partizan. Both home matches were won 2-0 and both away games finished 1-1, giving a 3-1 aggregate scoreline in each round. Meanwhile, Auxerre have advanced to the last eight after overcoming AFC Ajax and fellow Ligue 1 contenders LOSC Lille Métropole. The club are two matches away from emulating their finest season in European competition, when they reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 1993.Success in this competition would cap a remarkable career for Guy Roux, who has been coach at Auxerre since 1961, except for a one-year sabbatical as general manager in 2000/01. In that time he has taken Auxerre from the regional leagues to the title in 1996. The club have won also the French Cup on three occasions. All that eludes him, after 44 years at the helm, is a European trophy.

CSKA have already faced French opposition this season, defeating PSG home and away