In Depth

Rooney ends goal drought but Man United face mutiny

Louis van Gaal insists he was right to replace Martial with Fellaini, but dissent at Old Trafford begins to spill over

Wayne Rooney ended Manchester United's 404-minute goal drought with a late header to down CSKA Moscow and secure top spot in Champions League Group D.

The 1-0 win boosts United's chances of qualifying for the knock-out stages but there is work to be done yet, not just to convince Europe that United are a force to be reckoned with, but also to win over the Old Trafford fans, who are showing increasing hostility towards Louis van Gaal's methods.

At times on Tuesday "simmering frustration" with United's lack of flair turned into "full-blown dissent" says Oliver Kay of The Times, and the decision to replace Anthony Martial with Marouane Fellaini after 65 minutes was a particularly unpopular one at a ground used to fearless displays of daredevil attacking.

Unsurprisingly Louis van Gaal saw the goal, 14 minutes after the substitution, as "affirmation of his judgment", says Kay. "But the evening will be remembered as much for the chants directed to the man in the dugout as for the well-worked goal that took his team to the top of their Champions League group."

Forget the result, says Andy Hunter of The Guardian, this was the night Van Gaal "discovered just how close Old Trafford is to mutiny against his methods". He admitted that he had heard the jeers, but insisted that the fans would "not be disappointed with the decision", despite the evidence to the contrary.

Van Gaal's insistence on two defensive midfielders is the most obvious example of "the cautious approach which is quickly losing Van Gaal the backing of the United supporters", says the Daily Telegraph's Mark Ogden.

However, there were some positives to take from the night. Rooney's well-taken goal "could spark a return to the performances we have seen from the England captain over the years", suggests Ogden. Marcos Rojo is settling into his role within the team and Jesse Lingard continues to "play without the fear that is currently gripping some of his more experienced team-mates", and is keeping Memphis Depay out of the side.

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