The Nigeria international got the Muscovites back to winning ways after they endured a disappointing April
CSKA Moscow on Sunday ended a poor run of four matches without a win with a slender 1-0 victory over bitter city rivals Dynamo Moscow at the VEB Arena.
Super Eagles attacker Chidera Ejuke was the hero for the Red Army, as the dribbling wizard came off the bench in the second half to net the 67th-minute winner.
Having won five of five matches in March, CSKA had stumbled through April, drawing two and losing two of the four games played before Sunday.
The hardest to take of the defeats for the Red Army fans was the 1-0 home loss to another Moscow rival, Victor Moses’ Spartak, on Wednesday, a result that knocked CSKA out of the Russian Cup.
Ejuke, who has been out of favour in recent weeks, had started just one of his last nine appearances for the side.
Again, the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations participants began on the bench against Dynamo, but his introduction in the 58th minute changed the dynamics of the encounter.
And the CSKA number 11 netted the game’s only goal after spending less than ten minutes on the pitch – his fourth goal against Dynamo in all competitions.
And in an interview with the club’s official website after the match, Ejuke shared his thoughts on getting his first goal since October, the team’s performance in the derbies, and his penchant for scoring against Dynamo.
Chidi, this is the second derby in a week. You seem to have made a good entry into the game.
— I am very excited. Glad I was able to score and contribute. But I want to say that this is the merit of the whole team: without my partners, we would not have won. We fought and demonstrated unity. It’s nice to feel the taste of victory again after a series of unsuccessful matches.
–Alexey Berezutsky said that you changed your attitude towards yourself in the last two matches. What did he mean?
I always try to play well – the best I can. Lately, I don’t get as much time as I would like. But today I scored a goal again, and this is the most important thing!
—Fans note that, at least in terms of mood, there was another team on the field today. Was there a conversation after the derby with Spartak?
Sometimes there are difficult situations. We did not want such a development of events in the cup match because we are always determined to show our best game to the fans. But it turned out that they lost. We realized as a team that we had to work hard and start winning again. For this, we will give all our strength.
– You have already scored four goals against Dynamo. They joke on the net that this is your “client”…
I think that I am attracted by a magnet to them, or them to me… I am happy that I helped the team, and we won. I am so glad and excited, and now we are looking forward to the rest of the matches.
Ejuke has five goals and three assists in 26 league matches for CSKA Moscow this term.