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CSKA Moscow have left Manchester City bristling with indignation by painting their pitch to try and conceal huge bare patches.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini condemned the Khimki Arena surface as unfit for Champions’ League action, after branding it unacceptable and calling it ‘unbelievable’ that UEFA bosses had given it the go-ahead after inspecting it last week.
In an attempt to deflect some of the criticism, CSKA officials ordered their groundsman to spray a green, paint-based substance on the pitch, prior to television beaming pictures of it round the world.
Pellegrini and his players are determined to ensure it will not take the gloss off a night that could prove decisive in their attempts to pip CSKA to second place in the group, behind Bayern Munich.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini had voiced his amazement on Tuesday that UEFA have given the green light for the match with CSKA Moscow to take place on the worn-out Khimki Arena surface.
|Advertising hoardings are protected from the paint spraying|
Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho had also expressed his concerns about the pitch, which has been blighted by recent heavy rain and overuse.
Pellegrini suggested further rain could force a postponement but groundsmen in Moscow were filmed on Wednesday morning using tractors to spray paint over the bare patches.
Advertising hoardings were protected with sheets during the spraying to make sure they didn't get covered in paint.
The move will have done little to placate Pellegrini, who said it was 'unbelievable' that UEFA allowed the match to go ahead.
He said: 'It's amazing that allow us to play in this field, we have to pray that if it rains it will be impossible to play.
'This is the best competition in the world and should not be playing here.'
Poor conditions forced to CSKA Moscow to move a league match against Viktoria Pilsen to St Petersburg, located about 600 kilometers from the Russian capital, three weeks ago.
'I'm surprised because not allowed to play here the game against Viktoria Pilsen and people of UEFA has let this game go ahead. They should say that you can not play here,' added Pellegrini.
- Daily Mail