On a night when the Gunners were off touch, a comeback for the Russian side was likely. The table however turned in the 75th minute when Mohamed Elneny found Danny Welbeck with a well-timed pass for the Englishman to finish cooly behind Igor Akinfeev.
The Arsene Wenger-led side were not done yet as Aaron Ramsey collected another pass from Elneny to put the match beyond CSKA's reach in the 92nd minute. The matchended with the aggregate scores at 3-6.
Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal's captain, bemoaned the team's poor performance saying their confidence levels had been low. He praised their opponents who he said had taken their opportunities on the night.
"It was not the plan. I think we missed a lot of movement, to be available for our team-mates. We didn’t win duels. They played well, had opportunities and took them. It put pressure on us, if they score we are out. So I am happy because we came back, but our performance was not enough for the stage of the competition.
"We will see the draw, but need more confidence in our game,'' he told BBC.