Rooney hails his best-ever goal

Rooney struck in the 77th minute for United against City at Old

Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday after David Silva’s

fortunate equaliser had cancelled out Nani’s first-half opener. It

was a goal fit to win any game and the England striker said it had

been an instinctive finish from Nani’s cross. “I think so,” Rooney

told Sky Sports 1 when asked if it was the best goal of his career.

“I saw it come into the box and thought ‘why not?’ Thankfully it

finished up in the top corner. “I was trying to get in a good

position for when Nani crossed it. Nine time out of 10 they go over

the crossbar. Today it ended up in the top corner. “It is instinct.

You don’t have time to think about it.” Asked when he had last

scored with an overhead kick, Rooney replied: “In school I think.

It’s the first one since I started playing professionally.”

Rooney’s strike ensured United bounced back after losing their

unbeaten record to Wolves the week before. “It is important for the

league after dropping three points last week,” he added. “It is

also a big game for the whole city. City have been closer to us

this year and I thought it was a close game. We just created better

chances and deserved to win. “It is three points, we’re top of the

league and we’re grateful for that. “I wasn’t too pleased with my

overall performance today but I got a chance and thankfully managed

to take it.” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Rooney’s

winner as the best goal he had seen at Old Trafford. “It was

stunning,” he said. “[Nani’s opener] was an unbelievable goal, but

nobody in their right sense will even talk about it. “All the talk

will be about that winning goal – unbelievable.” Asked if he had

seen a better goal at the ground, Ferguson replied: “No. “Rooney

hit a volley against Newcastle some years ago and it was that

ferocity… We’ve had some fantastic goals here but in terms of

execution… you’ll never see that.” Ferguson now wants Rooney and

strike partner Dimitar Berbatov to start producing on the road. “I

have to say that what I need to get out of Wayne and Berbatov is

performances away from home,” the Scot added on Sky Sports 2.

“They’ve not been as good as they have been at home. “That’s a

quandary because, the ability those two have, they really should be

dictating games for us. When they do, it’ll make a hell of a

difference to Manchester United.” The Red Devils’ victory moved

them eight points ahead of Roberto Mancini’s side, but Ferguson

does not believe United can write their local rivals off. Asked if

this marked the end of City’s title challenge, he replied: “No.

They’re in the top four. They’ve got a big, strong squad. They’ll

win more games than you think.” City boss Mancini, asked if

Rooney’s goal had been pure genius, replied: “Yes. Only a fantastic

goal can decide this game. “A fair result was a draw. We played

very well and I’m proud of my players. “I thought we could win this

game. After 1-1 I thought we had a chance to win. But it was a

fantastic goal that Rooney scored and it changed this game.”

Mancini conceded the eight-point gap was too great to be closed.

“Yes, it is very diffuclt (to catch United) but I think we should

continue,” the Italian said on Sky Sports 2. “Like today, when we

lost a game that we don’t deserve to lose, I think we can win a

game that we don’t deserve to win.”