Louis van Gaal acknowledged Manchester United found the going tough against CSKA Moskva, pointing out: "It's never easy to win in the Champions League."
Article top media content
- Wayne Rooney scores Manchester United's winner against CSKA Moskva
- Louis van Gaal points out, "It's never easy to win in the Champions League"
- Leonid Slutski says visitors struggled to create chances
Louis van Gaal, Manchester United manager
Of course it's a relief because you have seen an attacking Manchester United creating a lot of chances against a very good, organised team. It's always difficult to score goals, we had to wait a long time. We controlled the match for 89 minutes but one minute we didn't control and could have been defeated. If [Seydou] Doumbia scores, before the goal we scored, then I am sitting here very differently, because it is another game. But we deserve it totally, I think.
I am relieved but also proud. It's not so easy. Even in the golden years of Manchester United, I have read they never won against a Russian team at home. Everyone thinks it's easy, but it isn't. It is never easy for a club in the Champions League to win.
I back all my players, not only Wayne Rooney. Wayne Rooney is always the centre of attention so I always have to answer questions about Wayne Rooney. But Wayne is Wayne, he shall always contribute in a game. I am very happy because I put him again in the striker's position and he scored.
It was a fantastic goal. The preparation was fantastic: the tackle of Marcos Rojo, the pass of Michael Carrick, the cutback of Jesse Lingard and the header of Rooney. It was fantastic, and I am very happy about the performance of my players, the result, and also that we are top of the group.
Doumbia's [chance] was the only CSKA attack when a player of Manchester United stepped the wrong way and then David de Gea saved us. And after that Smalling saved us. That is also football, that you are running everything out of your body to prevent goals. It is fantastic to see Smalling doing that.
Leonid Slutski, CSKA coach
We tried to counterattack. I think the [chance] with Seydou Doumbia contributed to the final result. It's difficult to create chances in a game against Manchester United.
I don't really want to comment [about the goal] because I haven't seen the replay yet. There was a big probability that United would create a lot of chances and we had to be attentive to that.
The players were not afraid. As I said, it's always difficult to play against such a strong team as Manchester United. We didn't have lots of possession, just as in the first game in Moscow.