Rooney rescues Man Utd with Champions League CSKA win
Matt Haynes | November 3, 2015
Manchester United 1-0 CSKA Moscow
- Rooney secures points with late goal
- Man Utd frustrated for long periods
- De Gea stands firm once more
Bright start for United
Louis van Gaal was spared an unwanted Manchester United record of four consecutive goalless draws by captain Wayne Rooney late on at Old Trafford.
Aptly, this match was more Russian Roulette than the type of exhibition football fans were once accustomed to during Champions League evenings in the red half of Manchester, though for all intents and purposes, the home side started brightly.
Interestingly the skipper seemed to be involved from the beginning to the end, with the first chance falling to him in the opening few minutes as he took a touch to control a cross in the area, before sending an effort just wide.
From early on, it was evident that the visitors had come to defend while playing on the counter-attack and the opening period suggested they could be successful as the experienced and imposing defensive duo Aleksei Berezutski and Sergei Ignashevich marshalled a well-drilled line.
Jesse Lingard who was playing an abundance of confidence was involved in a number of chances throughout, his best one falling in the first half when he ran onto a perfecty-weighted through ball, before being stifled by the keeper.
Russian resistance held firm for the majority of the match, with the Eastern European outfit making it more and more frustrating for the home side. United had a couple of penalty appeals turned down in the second half, with one for Rooney that could have been potentially justified, though the referee waved play on.
When Van Gaal brought Anthony Martial off midway through the second half, this was a decision that appeared to be met with more derision and his replacement Marouane Fellaini made little impact.
United leave it late
They say football is a game of inches. That was shown here twice in as many minutes late in the second half when late substitute Seydou Doumbia ran onto a through pass, evaded David de Gea and looked certain to finish before Chris Smalling’s last-gasp sliding block denied him.
Moments later, United were ahead. A game of pingball, saw Michael Carrick dink a delicious ball over for Lingard whose first time cushioned pass saw Rooney head inches past the gloves of Akinfeev for his 30th Champions League goal.
Man City comfortable in Seville
Elsewhere, Manuel Pellegrini’s side eased their last 16 chances considerably with a fairly straightforward 3-1 victory over Sevilla.
Two goals in the opening 15 minutes from Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho gave Manchester City the initiative before Benoit Tremoulinas pulled one back, only for Wilfried Bony to settle matters before half time.
Check out what else is trending in the Champions League