Rooney’s touch of genius gets United back on track

by admin

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

MANCHESTER UNITED silenced their ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City yesterday at Old Trafford thanks to a sensational Wayne Rooney strike.

Rooney produced the stuff of dreams at ‘The Theatre of Dreams’ to make a salient point to his detractors that his star has not faded, and if anything that he can regain last season’s form to lead United to an unprecedented 12th Premier League title.

Sir Alex Ferguson was left drooling, and hailed the strike as the most brilliantly executed of the 2,500 goals that he has witnessed during his time at the helm of the Premier League’s most successful club.

The game was beautifully poised until the 78th minute, when Nani floated a wonderful cross, and Rooney improvised with an incredible acrobatic effort that scorched past Joe Hart into the top corner of the net.

Having watched it on Match of the Day last night, it was the sort of goal that you simply had to rewind a few times to marvel at the sheer genius of the effort.

The goal itself was poetry in motion- Rooney arched his back beautifully and swivelled to hit the sweet spot of the ball that flew past the hopeless Hart. His celebration had an air of Freddie Flintoff about it, as he raced over to the corner flag to lap up the adulation of the fans.

It definitely surpassed his wonder strike against Newcastle at Old Trafford in April 2005 when a frustrated Rooney smacked a volley with his right foot from outside the area that rocketed into the net.

Will this rejuvenate Rooney, who for most of the season has looked flat, insipid and lacking in any genuine threat? Before yesterday, he had only scored four goals in United’s domestic campaign which is a very paltry return for his exceedingly high standards. Even during the match, Rooney found a lot of his passes went astray, and he was well marshalled by Vincent Kompany.

Dimitar Berbatov has outshone his strike partner with a bagful of goals, and Nani has stepped up to the plate- some have even drawn comparisons to Lionel Messi as he is just as devastating with his left foot as he is with his right.

City could count themselves very unfortunate to leave Old Trafford empty-handed, as they bossed the first-half and fashioned a number of decent openings. It certainly was in stark contrast to the idea that Roberto Mancini’s team have inherited the Italian football culture of prioritising defence over attack.

After the shock defeat away to Wolves last weekend, United exhibited the resilience and tactical nous that has seen them dominate the Premier League since its inception in 1992.

This defeat may well take the wind out of City’s sails, and it seems that the title will be a two-horse race. Arsenal impressed during their comfortable 2-0 win against a lacklustre Wolves, and arguably Mick McCarthy suitably hit the mark by saying his side were ‘spanked’.

March looks like it could be a defining month for United, with away trips to Liverpool and Chelsea respectively.

If they go on to wrestle the title back from Chelsea, they will use Rooney’s mesmerising strike as a perfect illustration to describe a pivotal moment of their season.

Follow me on Twitter @tottenham21

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  • Mystical Mike

    what is it with United? For most of that game they were crying out for a spark, someone to unlock and very well organised City rear guard. They seriously lack a Fabregas, or a Gerrard. There’s no doubting Scholes & Giggs have been exceptional in their time but both players are way past their sell by date.

    I thought City were unlucky, they outplayed United for most of that game but like United, also lack creative spark.

    As for Rooneys goal, it was world class from a very over rated player. It could be the goal that wins them the title in the end!

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