Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium

Every time an English club is forced to play on an artificial pitch in continental competition we get the usual bluster about how difficult such surfaces are to play on and what an advantage they are for the home side.

However, having looked at the results of Champions League games played at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium since its current plastic surface was laid in 2002, it would appear that there is no recognisable pattern of advantage for the team that is more acquainted with the “plastic purgatory” as one Sky commentator put it last night.

Of the 15 Champions League games played on the surface (the 2007/08 final saw the plastic replaced by grass as a one-off) by Spartak Moscow and CSKA since 2002, just 3 have been won by the home side with 5 drawn and 7 lost.

So, is playing on plastic really the major disadvantage to teams unaccustomed to artificial surfaces that some would have us believe?

2002/03

Spartak Moscow 0-3 Valencia

Spartak Moscow 1-3 Liverpool

Spartak Moscow 0-2 Basel

2006/07

Spartak Moscow 0-0 Sherriff

Spartak Moscow 2-1 Slovan Liberec

Spartak Moscow 1-1 Sporting

Spartak Moscow 0-1 Inter

Spartak Moscow 2-2 Bayern Munich

2007/08

Spartak Moscow 1-1 Celtic

2008/09

Spartak Moscow 1-4 Dynamo Kyiv

2009/10

CSKA Moscow 2-1 Besiktas

CSKA Moscow 0-1 Manchester United

CSKA Moscow 2-1 Wolfsburg

CSKA Moscow 1-1 Sevilla

CSKA Moscow 0-1 Inter

15 played, 3 won (20%), 5 drawn (33%), 7 lost (47%)