Manchester United entered this match against CSKA Moscow on the heels of three consecutive scoreless draws, and it looked like a fourth was on the way.
But Wayne Rooney broke United’s run of 404 minutes without a goal, as his tally late in the match was enough to take all three points in a 1-0 win in the Champions League.
With the win, United moves to the top of Group B with seven points, one point ahead of both PSV Eindhoven and Wolfsburg.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
Manchester United got off to a good start in the first half, controlling most of the play and pressing in Moscow’s half. They did well to get crosses into the box, but failed to create any quality scoring chances, as only two of their eight shots found the target.
Despite failing to score in the fist half, United was the better side as Moscow had just over 30-percent of possession and didn’t register a single shot on David De Gea.
The second half was more of the same, as United dominated possession without posing any real threat on goal. Marouane Fellaini came on in the 66th minute to replace Anthony Martial, as boos rained down from the Old Trafford support. With United struggling to attack, the addition of Fellaini and subtraction of a true striker clearly did not sit well with many.
After all of United’s possession, it was CSKA who had the best scoring chance of the half, as Seydou Doumbia broke free to move in all alone on goal. David de Gea got a hand on his first shot, but the rebound fell back to Doumbia who looked sure to score. But Chris Smalling came out of nowhere and made a huge play, sliding to block the shot off the goal line and keep the match scoreless.
Finally, after 404 scoreless minutes of football, Manchester United finally got on the board through Wayne Rooney in the 79th minute. Michael Carrick played a great cross-field ball to Jesse Lingard, who played an ever better ball back across the box. Lingard’s volley was met by the head of Rooney, as Old Trafford erupted in relief.
United would hold on through the final ten minutes, earning a massive win not just in the standings, but also for confidence moving forward. With the team ending the goalscoring woes and Rooney finally getting off the mark, this win could mark a turning point in the season.