Rooney vindicates Van Gaal with big goal against Moscow

AP
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Wayne Rooney scored the game-winning goal for Manchester United in the 79th minute against CSKA Moscow.

That goal was the first scored for United since October 21, breaking a drought that had lasted nearly seven hours (404 minutes to be exact).

With the goal tonight, Rooney’s tally for Manchester United is up to 237, tied with Denis Law for the second-most in club history. He is now 12 behind Sir Bobby Charlton for the all-time record.

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While United was clearly the better side throughout the match against Moscow, it felt as if it would end in a fourth consecutive scoreless draw, as they struggled to create chances despite holding nearly 70-percent of possession.

The supporters have been getting restless with United’s lack of offense, never more evident than when Louis Van Gaal made a substitution in the 66th minute. Marouane Fellaini was brought on to replace Anthony Martial, as Old Trafford erupted in boos. While Martial did not necessarily put in a great performance, the fans still were angered at the move to take off a true number-nine for a player like Fellaini, who Van Gaal himself said he considered to be a midfielder.

When asked about the crowd reaction when he made the Fellaini move, Van Gaal answered “I am not deaf.” Despite the boos, the insertion of Fellaini moved Rooney up as the number-nine, which resulted in his late game-winner.

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There has been much talk as to whether Van Gaal should stick with Rooney, as he is no longer the prolific goalscorer we once knew. However, the manager has stayed loyal to his captain, and his captain came through in the clutch.