The England striker headed home when it appeared Louis van Gaal was facing another frustrating night at Old Trafford, with the hosts kept at bay until the 79th minute.
Wayne Rooney’s late header ended Manchester United’s goal drought and earned the Red Devils a narrow 1-0 victory over CSKA Moscow.
The England captain scored his 237th goal for United, moving level with Denis Law in the club-record books, when he nodded home Jesse Lingard’s cross in the 79th minute. Rooney’s strike, which sealed a first home win for the Red Devils over Russian opposition, moves Louis van Gaal’s side top of Group B on seven points. It also spares Van Gaal from becoming the first United manager since 1992 to endure a run of four games without a goal.
Four hundred and four minutes had passed since they last hit the net when Rooney struck. United started brightly in their bid to end that barren spell stretching back to Anthony Martial’s effort in the 1-1 draw in Moscow two weeks ago. The French forward returned to a centre-forward position having been deployed from the left in recent weeks and partnered Rooney up front.
Rooney steered an early attempt wide with his left foot before Martial failed to get enough on a beautiful long pass from Daley Blind to divert the ball beyond Igor Akinfeev. Lingard, who was picked ahead of Ander Herrera and started on the left wing, lifted a shot over the bar on the half-hour mark as United struggled to change their fortunes in front of goal.
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