Wayne Rooney Makes His Way Into the Premier League History Books
Wayne Rooney has made Premier League history!
Rooney's two goals today against Sunderland, have made him the first ever player to score 10+ goals in eleven straight premier league seasons. A true testimony to his longevity to find the back of the net.
The United faithful have been calling for Rooney to be unleashed into his preferred position further up the pitch and the Robin Van Persie injury has finally forced Louis van Gaal's hand.
LVG started the game with yet another new system and formation, coming out with a 4-2-3-1 with Rooney just behind Falcao and flanked by Di Maria and Young. United never really got going in the first 45 minutes, resulting in Januzaj coming on for Di Maria, due to his lackluster display.
United seemed to stretch more into the traditional 4-4-2, made famous by Alex Ferguson, with Januzaj and Young getting wide to isolate the fullbacks. Rooney and Falcao continued to look for combinations with Herrera underneath, but through the first 65 minutes it appeared perhaps Sunderland would put another dent in United's top 4 hopes.
A brilliant piece of individual skill from Radamel Falcao finally brought the break through. Herrera, given space down the right, whipped a great ball into Falcao's feet. With his back to goal inside the area, Falcao's majestic first touch and turn saw John O'Shea pull him down to prevent the goal. Roger East immediately signaled for a penalty.
The resulting delay, of Roger East wrongfully sending off Wes Brown, didn't put Wayne Rooney off. The newly reappointed striker calmly prepared himself and struck a fantastic penalty with pace and precision just inside the left post, beating Pantililmon to his right.
The Stretford End exploded with delight, as Rooney wheeled off thoroughly enjoying his return to the score sheet. All made possible through the fantastic skill from Falcao.
To the disappointment of the United faithful, LVG rewarded Falcao for his brilliance by immediately subbing him off in favor of Fellaini; although the move was previously set in motion before the penalty. The United supporters booed the decision, before giving Falcao a much deserved standing ovation.
United now enjoyed the allotted space and freedom of playing against the 10 men of Sunderland. United moved the ball quickly, exploiting space in the wide areas and actively finding Rooney's feet, as he eagerly sought another goal.
Rooney wouldn't be denied for long, finding the back of the net again in the 84th minute. After pinning Sunderland in their own area, the ball came wide to the right where Januzaj continued his exploitation of van Aanholt's decision to allow him space to cut onto his left foot inside the penalty area. Januzaj's curling effort forced Pantilimon into a tough save, with the rebound popping up nicely for Wayne Rooney to nod his way into the history books.
While United and Rooney still didn't quite represent the fluid, attacking side Old Trafford are accustomed to see, there were promising signs to see. Perhaps if Louis van Gaal can commit to a system and style, the players will be able to continue to build on this performance and finally reach the level of flair and consistency that has been expected all season.
Rooney, with his 10 goals in 23 appearance, will surely benefit from what appears to be an extended stay back where he belongs, leading the United line!