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 Match Information 
 2015-11-03 (19:45) (ECup)  Manchester United 1–0 CSKA Moscow
  Venue: Old Trafford 
  Goals: Rooney1 
  Lineup: De Gea  YoungAs  Smalling  Blind  Rojo  Carrick  Schweinsteiger  Mata  Rooney  Lingard  Martial 


 

Manchester United 1-0 CSKA Moscow
Posted by   Bill   on   2015-11-03 @ 19:56:15 -0700

Man Utd 1-0 CSKA

Rooney 79′

FT 90 +5
HT 0-0

Wayne Rooney's late header secured victory for Manchester United over CSKA Moscow in Champions League Group B in front of a nervy Old Trafford crowd.

Only an excellent save from David de Gea and Chris Smalling's last-ditch block on the line had prevented the hosts falling behind a few minutes earlier as Seydou Doumbia burst clear.

Rooney's header was United's first goal in 404 minutes after three 0-0 draws.

The victory moves United top of the group with two games remaining.

Wolfsburg, who had led the standings before kick-off, were beaten 2-0 away to PSV Eindhoven.

While manager Louis van Gaal will feel his tactical decisions were vindicated by his side's early promise, with Rooney and Anthony Martial in tandem up front, and United's renewed energy after the second-half introduction of Marouane Fellaini, the crowd booed and called for more attacking intent at several points.
Plan A fails

After their three successive goalless draws, Paul Scholes and Andrei Kanchelskis - two of the most thrilling attackers Old Trafford have seen in recent times - had criticised the lack of creativity in Van Gaal's side.
Manchester United

The manager had reacted in prickly fashion, but his decision to liberate Martial from the left wing and play him up alongside Rooney as a second striker spoke volumes.

Rooney enjoyed the company, dropping deep to set up a chance for Jesse Lingard with a neat reverse ball.

Full-back Marcos Rojo meanwhile provided the hosts' width, sending over a barrage of crosses from the left as his team-mates channelled play down his flank.

But United's early momentum slowed and the half ended with the crowd urging their side to attack more, as optimism turned to tension.
Fans rebel against Van Gaal change

In the 66th minute, Van Gaal changed to a tactic he has insisted will never be "normal" as Fellaini came on to bolster the attack in place of Martial.

The decision drew jeers from the Old Trafford crowd, chants of Martial's name and more pleas for attacking football.

They were not alone in questioning Van Gaal's judgement. BBC Radio 5 live analyst Pat Nevin described the removal of Martial as "a shocker".
Louis van Gaal

However, Fellaini's presence seemed to revive flagging United belief and unsettle CSKA's defenders.

When Lingard volleyed Michael Carrick's long pass back into the box it was the familiar head of Rooney - rather than the distinctive one of Fellaini - that met it to prevent his side going four games without scoring for the first time since 1992.
CSKA threaten repeat Manchester raid

Almost a year ago to the day, CSKA had plunged Manchester City's Champions League campaign into peril with a 2-1 win across the city at Etihad Stadium.

With star striker Doumbia - who scored both of the goals in that win - left on the bench the Russian side initially looked unlikely to repeat such a heist.

But the Ivorian's arrival after 55 minutes added an attacking edge and brought the visitors out of their shell. A game which had been comfortable for United up until that point suddenly started to change.

Doumbia should have added to a superb Champions League scoring record of 13 goals in 18 games, but De Gea and Smalling combined brilliantly to deny him and, just a minute later, Rooney moved level with Denis Law on United's all-time scoring charts with 237 goals.
Man of the match: Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard
What's next?

Manchester United, fourth in the Premier League table, play West Brom at home on Saturday in their final match before an international break.
Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)
Manchester United

01 de Gea
18 Young
12 Smalling
17 Blind
05 Rojo
16 Carrick
31 Schweinsteiger (Herrera - 89' )
08 Mata (Depay - 74' )
10 Rooney
35 Lingard
09 Martial (Fellaini - 66' )

Substitutes

04 Jones
07 Depay
20 Romero
21 Herrera
27 Fellaini
36 Darmian
44 Pereira

CSKA Moscow

35 Akinfeev
02 Figueira Fernandes
06 Berezutski
04 Ignashevitch
42 Schennikov Booked
10 Dzagoev (Panchenko - 85' )
03 Wernbloom Booked
07 Tosic (Golovin - 75' )
66 Natcho (Doumbia - 55' )
23 Milanov
18 Musa

Substitutes

01 Chepchugov
05 Vasin
08 Panchenko
14 Nababkin
60 Golovin
88 Doumbia

Ref: Szymon Marciniak
Att: 75,165

bbc.co.uk/football

 
How lucky you are, boys
Posted by   PaulJ   on   2015-12-12 @ 13:10:19 -0700


Success elusive,
Good luck a necessity,
Patience a virtue.

We had never beaten a Russian side at Old Trafford. In the first round of the UEFA Cup in 1992 we were unable to score against Moscow Torpedo in either leg and lost on penalties in Moscow. The home leg was Gary Neville’s debut and we were hamstrung by Alex Ferguson’s mistaken interpretation of the rule that then existed on foreign players, as a result of which Ryan Giggs did not play. At the same stage of the same competition in 1995 our satisfaction having held Rotor Volgograd scoreless in the away leg was misplaced as we defended abysmally and found ourselves two goals down before a quarter of the match was played. The match was transformed by the introduction of Paul Scholes for John O’Kane after which we swarmed over them. Scholes scored and we were denied a blatant penalty; Peter Schmeichel famously headed our equaliser but we went out on the away goals rule.

CSKA were visitors in 2009 when again we expected to win, but found ourselves deservedly three-one down with six minutes to go. It was Scholes again who scored at that point and in added time Georgi Shchennikov turned Antonio Valencia’s cross into his own net to rescue us. None of the United players who started that night was in tonight’s team (Wayne Rooney came on as a substitute then). It is a reflection of the comparative stability of the clubs in the last six years that the CSKA team included five who had started that night. This time they came to us nine points clear in the Russian League. We had only four points from three Champions League games and it was essential to beat the Russians this time.

It was a miserable evening, the rain teeming. CSKA must have seen the forecast for they played in a high visibility kit of luminous yellow. For an hour we were fooled, especially by the absence of Seydou Doumbia, their top scorer, that they had come for the sole purpose of a draw as they played with eleven men behind the ball and no pretence of attacking intent. In fact their coach Leonid Slutski, who has also taken Russia to the finals of the Nations Cup, had a cunning plan which came within a fraction of an inch of succeeding.

After the disappointing performance at Selhurst Park, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and Ander Herrera made way for Michael Carrick, Jesse Lingard and Ashley Young in our starting line-up. Young correctly judged that Polish referee Szymon Marciniak would not book him if he went recklessly into Georgi Milanov early enough and David de Gea looked almost casual as he sent a clearance off the pitch. This start did not augur well but soon Juan Mata glided a pass out to Lingard whose cross Rooney swept narrowly past the post. Mário Fernandes, who had looked magisterial in Moscow, tested his own goalkeeper with a back pass which Rooney nearly intercepted and for half an hour we played with much more verve and freedom than in recent weeks. Rooney took an excellent pass from Carrick and fed Lingard but Igor Akinfeev judged perfectly the dive at the feet which takes ball and player and reacted quickly to smother Marcos Rojo’s follow-up. Daley Blind showed vision with a long ball which Mata read but to which he could only get a stretching toe. Lingard breezed past Fernandes but it led only to a speculative shot by Rojo.

Once or twice CSKA forgot their game plan; after a mistake by Carrick they broke with alarming celerity and had to be halted by a splendid tackle from Young on Milanov and when Bastian Schweinsteiger, having won the ball impressively, gave it away we were nearly caught dozing; luckily de Gea, otherwise a spectator, raced out of his goal to clear from Ahmed Musa. Otherwise the Muscovites restrained themselves. Rooney’s free kick curled wickedly across the goal asking to be converted but our players hesitated, Rojo in particular worrying if he was offside. Another move instigated by Carrick resulted in a clever interchange between Mata and Young but Young’s cross missed everyone; Lingard went for the top corner with Schweinsteiger and Rooney waiting in front of the goal. The closest we came before the break was after a splendid move, Rojo and Lingard on the left, switched through Rooney to Young on the right, whose fine cross was met by Rojo at the far post. Many in the ground thought that his volley had gone in but it grazed the outside of the post and went behind.

The second half began with Lingard making Fernandes look a bit of a fool but nobody attacked the cross and Rojo headed the corner kick narrowly wide; he had missed the two best chances of the night so far. Carrick, Anthony Martial and Lingard passed cleverly between each other on the left, but Martial headed Rojo’s cross straight at the goalkeeper. Lingard chested the ball after Akinfeev palmed out a corner but there were too many bodies in the box. By this point CSKA were declining to attack even when they had the opportunity but as both sides began to show signs of weariness, Slutski brought on Doumbia, six goals in five Champions League games. He was treating it like a boxing match, take the punishment from an opponent you believe lacks a killer punch, when he tires come off the ropes and knock him out.

With Doumbia on the pitch they began to consider venturing over the half way line. Just before the hour mark he was through onto Milanov’s header but Chris Smalling cleaned it up. Musa showed electric pace on the left and de Gea needed to make the clean catch to keep Doumbia out. They had been springing a well-drilled offside trap since our initial assault but now as we ran out of ideas we became repeatedly caught in it. Louis van Gaal replaced Martial with Marouane Fellaini. “We’re Man United”, sang the Stretford End “we want to attack” but we had been, all night. A wonderful run by Lingard, a reverse pass to Mata who kept his head and found Rooney four yards from goal but Shchennikov did brilliantly to battle him. It had reached penalty desperation time. Rooney had been refused a half-decent shout when he was dragged down by a fistful of shirt and Mr Marciniak thought long and hard about it when Young went flying. He was right to ignore it; the replay showed that Ashley had reverted to being a naughty, naughty boy.

Memphis Depay came on to replace Mata and his cross was headed clear for Carrick, outside the area, to volley narrowly wide. Then the Russians sprang their trap. 78 minutes gone without a shot; 70% United possession, twelve goal attempts to nil, six corners to nil and out of nothing Musa and Doumbia worked it through our centre until Doumbia stood at the edge of the area with our goal at his mercy. Seen in slow motion De Gea’s reflex to reach down a left hand is barely credible. He deflects the shot just sufficiently but the ball does not carry to the bye line and as Doumbia moves in for the kill Young falls over in the goalmouth. Smalling slides to his rescue and between them, lying on the floor, they somehow block the goal.

Shocked into urgency we clear the corner and when Young’s cross is palmed out by the goalkeeper Rojo wins the ball comprehensively. Carrick’s pass for Lingard on the right is perfect, Lingard’s mid-air volleyed pass into the goalmouth a work of art and Rooney is one of three United players steaming in to convert it. His header brings his two hundred and thirty seventh United goal, the same as Denis Law’s total. It is also our first goal in four hundred and three minutes of play; 79 minutes 1-0.

Almost immediately Rooney and Lingard work together up the right but this time Akinfeev tips Lingard’s scorching shot over the bar. De Gea slips clearing the ball with Doumbia in close attendance and the team and the crowd are torn between joy and fear. Herrera comes on for Schweinsteiger and makes a couple of important interceptions, Smalling stays alert and even Fellaini does something useful by heading clear a corner kick. Fortunately Sergei Ignashevich’s header is straight at de Gea and our hopes of qualification for the knock-out stage remain alive. The last time we played CSKA we qualified as group winners by virtue of beating Wolfsburg away in the final match. Is this an omen?

Paul Andrew James

 





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