Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has expressed relief following his team's win over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tueday night (3 November). The Red Devils are now top of Group B one point ahead of PSV Eindhoven and Wolfsburg, who are level on six points.
Despite the relief after the win, the manager has warned his team that focus is key for 90 minutes of the game, as one minute of distraction could be the difference between winning and losing, and the Red Devils were almost made to pay. Wayne Rooney scored the winner in the 79th minute, but a minute before that Seydou Doumbia was on the verge of giving the visitors the lead, and it took an excellent save from David de Gea and a block on the line from Chris Smalling to deny the CSKA forward.
Van Gaal, however, believes that his team deserved the win for the number of chances they created during the game. He was delighted for his skipper, who answered his critics with a much needed goal, which also equalled Denis Law's record of 237 goals for the Old Trafford club. Apart from Rooney, the manager also praised Marcos Rojo, Michael Carrick and Jesse Lingard for their role in the winner that puts them in a comfortable position to qualify to the knockout phase of the competition.
"Of course it is a relief because you have seen an attacking Manchester United team creating lots of chances against an organised team. It is always difficult to score goals. We had to wait a long time. We controlled the match for 89 minutes and for one minute we didn't control it. We could have been defeated again. If they had scored then I would be sitting here very differently. But we deserved, totally, to win so I am relieved but I am also proud," Van Gaal told United's official site.
"I thank all of my players, not only Wayne Rooney. Wayne Rooney is always the centre of attention and I always have to answer questions about Wayne Rooney. Wayne is Wayne and he shall always contribute in the game. I am very happy because I put him in the striker position again and he scored."
"It was a fantastic goal; the preparation was fantastic. The tackle of Marcos Rojo, the pass of Michael Carrick, the cut-back of Jesse Lingard and the header of Wayne Rooney. It was fantastic, I am very happy about the performance of my players but also about the result and the fact that we are top of the group," the Dutch manager added.