Louis van Gaal stood by his controversial decision to substitute Anthony Martial for Marouane Fellaini in Manchester United’s narrow victory over CSKA Moscow.
United moved to the top of their Champions League group on Tuesday after they beat their Russian opponents 1-0 thanks to Wayne Rooney’s 237th goal for the club.
The victory means United will qualify for the knockout stages of the competition if they beat PSV at home in three weeks’ time.
Yet despite the victory, and the end to a 404-minute long goal drought, some United supporters were far from happy during parts of the game.
Loud boos rang out around Old Trafford when Van Gaal replaced Martial with Fellaini in the 66th minute and the home support then yelled “We’re Man Utd, we want to attack”.
Had it not been for Rooney’s 79th-minute header, more boos would have followed after the final whistle, but Van Gaal was in no mood to back down after the match.
Asked if he had heard the crowd’s reaction, the Dutchman said: ”Of course, I am not deaf. That is the opinion of the fans. Afterwards they shall not be disappointed by the decision of the manager.
”I’m very happy because I put him again in the striker’s position and he scored.”
Rooney’s goal moved him level with the club’s second-highest scorer of all time, Denis Law.
“Law is a legend at this club so I am delighted to equal his record,” said Rooney, who is now 12 short of Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time record.
“We are top of the group now, so it’s a big three points. We have another big one coming up against PSV, if we win that game we will qualify.”
Rooney’s old team-mate Paul Scholes renewed his attack on Van Gaal before kick-off.
The former United midfielder said last week that he would not want to play in the current set up at Old Trafford because of Van Gaal’s tactics.
Scholes, a BT pundit for the match, said before kick-off that United’s style of play was “boring” and claimed Rooney’s return of two league goals this season was down to a lack of service.
”We talk about Rooney, he’s getting all the stick, but…I don’t think anybody would score goals in this team as a centre forward, I think Sergio Aguero would struggle,” Scholes said.
“He’s getting nothing from midfield, there’s no wide players, he’s getting no service whatsoever.”