Rooney comes to life with magical derby winner
Wayne Rooney said it was the best goal he’s ever scored,
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson called it the greatest
strike he’s seen in 25 years at Old Trafford and England goalkeeper
Joe Hart didn’t even move.
Rooney put a troubled season behind him on Saturday as his
spectacular bicycle kick won the Manchester derby at Old
With his back to goal, the United and England striker Rooney
jumped and met a right-wing cross after 77 minutes with a
perfectly-timed overhead strike that flew into the top corner,
giving Premier League leader Manchester United a 2-1 win over rival
”I saw it coming over and I thought why not? Nine times out of
10 they go into the stand,” Rooney told Sky Sports.
Such was the power and accuracy of the shot that City ‘keeper
Hart stood motionless.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who sat out the game
with an injury, posted his reaction on Twitter.
”Wow….what a goal by ROOOOOOONEY!!! What a way to win the
derby!!” he tweeted, before adding: ”That bicycle kick was one
dirty strike…POW…what a strike what a goal what a
Even golfers Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy, currently playing in
Dubai, couldn’t help but comment. McIlroy simply tweeted;
Ferguson said the quality of the strike reminded him of United
great Denis Law, who scored 171 goals in a glittering career at the
”It was stunning,” Ferguson said. ”We’ve had some fantastic
goals here but in terms of execution … you’ll never see
Nani had given United a first-half lead lead with a neat control
and finish, before City equalized with a deflected effort in the
”(Nani’s goal) was an unbelievable goal, but nobody in their
right sense will even talk about it,” Ferguson said. ”All the
talk will be about that winning goal – unbelievable.”
Rooney’s winner severely dented City’s title hopes, but manager
Roberto Mancini accepted his side had been beaten by a ”moment of
”When a fantastic player like Rooney scores a goal like that,
you should clap,” the Italian said. ”He scored a fantastic
The goal was all the more surprising given Rooney’s indifferent
season so far. Coming off a disappointing World Cup in June, the
England striker had scored only four league goals until
In October, the 25-year-old former Everton player threatened to
leave Manchester United because he was not given the assurances he
wanted about the club’s future.
Two days later, he changed his mind and signed a new five-year
contract, with reports suggesting it could be worth up to 250,000
pounds ($400,000) a week.
His form only slowly picked up, however, and he has been
overshadowed by Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, whose
league-leading 19 goals this season includes a stunning overhead
kick of his own in a hat trick against Liverpool at Old
Ferguson, though, took a risk by leaving Berbatov on the bench
against City, and giving Rooney a lone striker role – and his faith
But the United manager still wants more from his
”I hope that is Wayne back to his best,” he said. ”I have to
say, what I need to get out of Wayne and Berbatov are performances
away from home that are as good as they are at home.
”That is the quandary. With the quality those two have, we
should be dictating games away from home. When they do that, it
will make a hell of a difference.”