Manchester United 1-0 CSKA Moscow: Wayne Rooney winner sends Red Devils top of Group B

first_img1 Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney took a step towards answering his critics with a late winner against CSKA Moscow to send Manchester United top of Group B in the Champions League.It was all United in the first half but despite all the possession there were no goals with Jesse Lingard and Marcos Rojo wasting the best of the chances.It was more of the same after the break and when it looked like it would be a fourth consecutive 0-0 for the Red Devils, Rooney popped up with a great header after many of the crowd called for his substitution only minutes before.The win is United’s second of the competition and after Wolfsburg lost 2-0 to PSV Eindhoven in the group’s other game, they go top with seven points.Rooney – who dropped into a more withdrawn position as Anthony Martial was restored to the centre – had the first chance of the night but his shot on the turn went slightly wide of the target.Juan Mata was the next to test Igor Akinfeev, but despite a fantastic run behind the CSKA defence, he couldn’t get the contact he desired from Daley Blind’s long ball.Rooney and Mata were again at the centre of the attack for United as they continued to pile forward but Lingard fired over after his captain’s dangerous cross.The Red Devils were dominating the possession and chances, this time Ashley Young’s deep cross being leathered wide by Rojo, as they continued to struggle for that goal which has eluded them in their last three games.Despite United having 73 per cent of possession and eight shots to CSKA’s zero, the teams trudged in at half time with the scores level and the pressure mounting on the home side who, if the scores remained goalless, would record four consecutive 0-0 draws for the first time in their history.And it was more of the same immediately after the restart as Rojo, unmarked and unchallenged, headed wide from a corner before the defender turned provider for Martial who headed straight at Akinfeev.Boos rang around Old Trafford after the hour mark as Louis van Gaal removed Martial, and not Rooney, as Marouane Fellaini entered the fray.If there was a sign United would not score during the game then it came as Rooney failed to sort his feet out from two yards out with an empty goal at his mercy.Michael Carrick was the next to try to break the deadlock with a stunning volley which whistled inches wide of the upright.Seydou Doumbia – a second half substitute – suddenly found himself through on goal was twice denied, first by a wonderful stop by David De Gea’s left boot and then by a world class block by Chris Smalling.As if buoyed by those defensive heroics, with ten minutes remaining, United went straight down the other end to score for the first time in four matches.It was a great team goal as Carrick picked out Lingard – the best player on the night – who volleyed first time across to Rooney to score with a great header.It sparked the Red Devils into life as Rooney pulled off a stunning flick to return the favour to Lingard, but his fierce volley was well blocked by the CSKA goalkeeper.But Rooney’s 273rd goal – which ties him level in second with Dennis Law on United’s all time goalscorer list – which was enough to secure a long overdue win for the Red Devils and put them in pole position to qualify for the round of 16.last_img read more