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Match report: Manchester United 1-0 CSKA Moscow

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Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the game to give Manchester United a 1-0 victory in the Champions League Group C match against CSKA Moscow.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United were booed off at half-time, and Louis van Gaal was booed during the second half, as Manchester United struggled against CSKA Moscow.

United started far brighter in the first half than they had in any of their previous three matches, all of which were drawn 0-0.  With quick passing, and a mixture of long, diagonal passing for runs behind the defence, the CSKA defence was opened with relative ease.

The problem in the first half was that the chances fell to the wrong men. Rojo missed a chance to volley at the back post, slicing it just wide, against the side netting. Rooney was responsible for some of United's best play in the first half, with two clever, accurate passes, but in the second half, he and United reverted to type.

CSKA sat back, and United were at a loss. They stopped finding an easy way through, and for all Jesse Lingard's pace and running, his control and passing wasn't sufficient. It was after twenty minutes that Anthony Martial was withdrawn for Marouane Fellaini.

At the end of the first half, there had been a rumbling of boos, more in frustration at the past three and a half matches rather than the performance in the last 45, but when Fellaini was introduced for Martial, the crowd roundly booed the decision. It was not aimed at either of the players, but the fact that again someone else other than Rooney was being sacrificed. Martial wasn't especially great, but he was better than the possibly dead Rooney.

Just how dead was he? Well, with 20 minutes left, Juan Mata's excellent work inside the box cleared two markers, and he teed up Rooney for a simple chance a few yards out. All Rooney had to do was take a touch, steady himself, and tap into an empty net. He couldn't even do that.

The pressure mounted for United, with Michael Carrick sending a shot from distance just wide, and Ashley Young eschewed a good chance to cross in the box by pathetically diving in pursuit of a penalty.

Seydou Doumbia had a chance to win it for CSKA, let free behind the defence with a through ball, but David de Gea's excellent save, and Chris Smalling's vital intervention, kept United in the game.

Despite all his struggles, and all his chances he should not have been given, it was Rooney who won it for United. A pass from Carrick to Lingard, pulling off at the back, was expertly side-footed back across goal for a straining Rooney to head past Igor Akinfeev.

United were able to hold on for the final few minutes, securing an important win that takes them to a place where even they should qualify for the group stages. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't as bad as the last three games.