Champions League Group Stage
Man. Utd. VS CSKA Moscow
Things looked bleak for Manchester United and their Champions League campaign even at home.
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.
It was an excellent save from David de Gea and Chris Smalling’s last-ditch block on the line had prevented the hosts falling behind as Seydou Doumbia burst clear.
Earlier, Anthony Martial was substituted with Fellaini by Van Gaal, drawing jeers from the Old Trafford crowd, chants of Martial’s name and more pleas for attacking football.
By the time Manchester United came out blinking from a stressful, wearying and occasionally mutinous night Wayne Rooney had moved alongside Denis Law as the second highest scorer in the club’s history.
Still, the United captain squandered chances in front of goal at Old Trafford before meeting Jesse Lingard’s cross with a header in the 79th minute.
He is now a dozen short of Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 goals and, briefly, Old Trafford felt like a happy place to be once again.