Less than a month ago Wayne Rooney was in the dog house at Old Trafford. The captain was looking every part of past his prime beside shiny new striker Anthony Martial and winger Memphis Depay.
But now, less than twenty days later Depay has had the fizzling out of a young player who doesn’t want to follow the rules and Martial is no longer the most talked about player in the league.
This could be due to United’s 404 minute drought and 3 straight scoreless draws that Rooney saved in the 79th minute from becoming 4 draws against CSKA Moscow.
This isn’t the first time in 2015 that Rooney has been called on to perform. He was the difference maker in United’s important Everton match coming off of the international break as well.
Rooney’s performance wasn’t flawless. He squandered what appeared to be a certain goal early in the second half leaving supporters ready to mutiny during the Champions league clash.
But his late goal saved both himself and his manager Van Gaal from facing the media firing squad which earlier this week said Van Gaal’s United lacks creativity according to Paul Scholes.
The win didn’t banish doubt from the Old Trafford skeptics, but it did enough to keep the media off their backs as Van Gaal and company continue to figure things out at the top of the Premier League table.
It’s also another crucial performance to elevate Rooney’s 2015 track record and validate his place on the first team.