Champions League: CSKA Moscow vs Manchester United - Five things we learned
Manchester United saved the blushes in a tough trip to Moscow after managing to salvage a 1-1 draw against CSKA on Wednesday.
New Delhi: Manchester United saved the blushes in a tough trip to Moscow after managing to salvage a 1-1 draw against CSKA on Wednesday.
Despite having majority of the possession, United seemed to lack the cutting edge against their opponents. After CSKA went ahead with a 1-0 lead, Anthony Martial made amends from his earlier mistake to score the equaliser.
United lie in second place in Group B with four points as CSKA too have the same tally.
Here are the five things we learned from the match between the two sides in Moscow.
Anthony Martial holds key for United's fortunes: The youngster, who was guilty for allowing CSKA to score after a hand-ball inside the penalty box, made up for his error. Martial got the important equaliser in the 65th minute after heading in Antonio Valencia's cross to give a crucial point to Louis van Gaal's side. Martial will hope to continue making impact given the mixed form of skipper Wayne Rooney.
David de Gea continues his excellent show: United will feel happy with the Spaniard's influence game after game, as De Gea once again excelled for the visitors. He saved Mario Fernandes' superb shot and then a penalty, but couldn't prevent the follow-up goal. He grew in the game making some crucial saves with Ahmed Musa's long range strike being the best out of the lot.
United lack penetration: The visitors had 67% possession but failed to derive much chances. It was a lacklustre first half from Van Gaal's side, who looked short of ideas in the final third. Unnecessary ball losses and absence of Juan Mata meant a clear lack of flow and creativity. In the second half the side improved after some tactical changes.
Luke Shaw's lengthy absence serves as a big blow: United look vulnerable at the left-back position as Marcos Rojo was unable to dictate terms with a fast paced CSKA pair of Mario Fernandes and Zoran Tosic. The Argentine was replaced by Daley Blind in the 63rd minute. Luke Shaw's excellent start to the season was hampered by a double fracture on his leg and his absence has left a void to fill with United going for make-shift approach.
Wayne Rooney fails to impress once again: The United skipper scored last week against Everton after a 11-game barren away match spell in the EPL. Rooney's lack of goals and assists upfront means United are highly dependant on their other creative players to make up. Rooney played full 90 minutes in Moscow and had a solitary shot on target. Rooney wasn't involved much in the game and a No. 10 position might be his best position.