Tag: Wayne Rooney

Euro 2016 Qualifier: England 4-0 Lithuania

Harry Kane scored 79 seconds into his England debut and Wayne Rooney moved a step closer to Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goal scoring record in a routine Euro 2016 dismissal of Lithuania at Wembley.

Kane – with 29 goals for Tottenham this season – emerged as a substitute after 70 minutes with England already on the way to a fifth win from five qualifiers with goals from Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling.

The stage was set for the 21-year-old but even the man with the Midas touch in front of goal this season would have struggled to believe he would score with his third touch as a full England international, heading in Sterling’s cross at the far post.

It was the final flourish on an England win that was little more than a formality in a group that surely provides the safest of passages to France next summer.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Man Utd 3-0 Spurs

Wayne Rooney delivers knockout blow as Man United cruise past Spurs

Manchester United moved to within just two points of second-placed Manchester City thanks to a commanding 3-0 Premier League victory against Tottenham.

United needed just nine minutes to break the deadlock at Old Trafford as Marouane Fellaini picked out the bottom corner after being played in by Michael Carrick.

Carrick soon turned from provider to goal scorer, doubling his side’s lead with a well-taken header after Tottenham had failed to deal with a corner.

And Wayne Rooney made it three inside 34 minutes, capitalising on some poor Spurs defending as he raced clear of two opponents and then slotted past Hugo Lloris. His celebration — pretending to box before falling to the ground — made reference to footage that was unearthed showing the forward appearing to be knocked unconscious by Stoke City full-back Phil Bardsley.

Tottenham failed to recover from their first-half display and were unable to pull a goal back after the break as United held on comfortably for the win.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Man Utd 1-2 Arsenal

Danny Welbeck came back to haunt Louis van Gaal as the Manchester United manager was subjected to a night of despair and defeat at Old Trafford.

Capitalising on a horror backpass from Phil Jones, Welbeck sent Arsenal through to the semifinals of the FA Cup with a 61st-minute winner after Wayne Rooney had equalised Nacho Monreal’s opener.

To pile yet more misery on the United boss, he watched Angel Di Maria get sent off towards the end of the 2-1 defeat for pulling referee Michael Oliver’s shirt as he reacted angrily to being booked for diving.

Replays showed Di Maria was pulled back by Aaron Ramsey before he tumbled to the ground, but the way in which he reacted will not please United boss Van Gaal.

Di Maria can have little reason to complain. The £59.7m signing snatched at Oliver’s shirt as he turned away after issuing him with a booking.

The dismissal is the latest episode in a long list of disappointments for the British record signing, who Van Gaal hoped would bring silverware to Old Trafford.

With United 10 points behind Chelsea in the league, that dream is almost certainly over. After a mildly encouraging performance in the first half, United wilted and looked blunt after the restart. Welbeck, the Longsight lad who left his boyhood club for north London last summer, provided the killer touch after a clanger from Antonio Valencia.

Van Gaal claimed he controversially ditched Welbeck last summer because the striker did not score enough goals.

And while the forward has hardly been prolific at Arsenal, he will have enjoyed showing Van Gaal what he is missing here.

For Van Gaal, the dream of silverware may be over, but Arsene Wenger’s side are now very much favourites to regain the FA Cup after registering their first win at Old Trafford in nine years.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Man Utd 2-0 Sunderland

Wayne Rooney’s penalty helped Manchester United beat Sunderland after the visitors’ Wes Brown was sent off in bizarre circumstances at Old Trafford.

Rooney scored after a foul on Radamel Falcao, for which Brown was dismissed and not John O’Shea, despite protests from the visitors.

United added a second when Rooney headed in after Adnan Januzaj’s shot was parried into his path.

The victory reasserted the home side’s challenge for a top-four place.

United moved up to third place in the Premier League as they claimed an 11th home win out of 14 in the top-flight so far this season.

However, Brown’s red card emerged as the talking point as the Old Trafford side finally earned a breakthrough to go with their improved second half urgency.

Falcao controlled an Ander Herrera cross beautifully in the box and, as he turned in between former United defenders Brown and O’Shea, looked to have been pulled by the latter.

Referee Roger East red-carded Brown and, despite the official speaking to his assistants via his headset, his original decision stood. The fourth official for the game was Martin Atkinson, who was criticised for his refereeing when Chelsea drew with Burnley last week.

After the match, the referees’ body in English football released a statement claiming East had seen contact from both O’Shea and Brown on Falcao.

It added that East chose to dismiss Brown and not O’Shea because he thought the former had fouled Falcao while he was in the act of shooting.

Coincidentally, East’s decision occurred on the same day as video technology trials during competitive matches were put back at least 12 months at a meeting of the game’s lawmakers.

While there may be controversy over the sending off, there could be little argument over a result that leaves the Black Cats three points above the relegation zone.

United dominated possession and were initially frustrated by the massed ranks of the visitors, who had gone close to taking an early lead when Connor Wickham’s shot was saved by David de Gea.

The home crowd offered a sign of their frustration at their side’s failure to find a cutting edge in attack with a chorus of disapproval when a United corner ended up with a back-pass to De Gea.

The home side almost gave the Old Trafford faithful the goal they craved when a Young shot across goal ricocheted off O’Shea and crossbar before Herrera headed wide from the rebound.

A Marcos Rojo shot from a corner was cleared from the goalmouth by Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson and, even though United had 71% of possession in the first half, they could not find a way through.

The ineffective Angel Di Maria was replaced by the lively Januzaj at the break and he powered a shot wide as United began to exert a greater threat.

But the penalty incident gave United the chance to score and Rooney, playing in a forward role, made no mistake as he avoided going nine league games without scoring for the first time since joining from Everton in 2004.

The England striker added a second when he nodded in after Januzaj’s shot was parried by keeper Costel Pantilimon.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Preston 1-3 Man Utd

Wayne Rooney ended his goal drought as Manchester United came from behind to beat Preston and set up a mouth-watering FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal.

After watching Bradford take their second Premier League scalp of the competition on Sunday, United were wary of falling victim to another upset and they feared the worst when Scott Laird put Preston ahead.

But luckily for United manager Louis van Gaal, Ander Herrera equalised soon after and Marouane Fellaini poked home before Rooney scored a late penalty to give the Red Devils a 3-1 win.

Rooney, starting up front rather than in the midfield role he has occupied of late, looked threatening in the first half, working the channels, but was unable to test Preston goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann.

Rooney was not the only guilty party. Radamel Falcao put in yet another poor display and it did not come as a surprise when he was substituted for Ashley Young on the hour.

Van Gaal’s substitution proved crucial as Young set up Herrera for the equaliser.

Fellaini, who was pushed up front following Falcao’s removal, then poked in from close range after a brave save from Stuckmann.

And then Rooney ended his seven-and-a-half week wait for a goal when he tucked away a penalty after being brought down in the box on a United break.

The display against League One opposition will have done little to silence Van Gaal’s critics, but the Dutchman will not care.

His team are now one step closer to ending the first year of his stewardship with a trophy – one that United have not won in 11 years.

Just a few days after intimating that Rooney would continue playing in midfield, Van Gaal took everyone by surprise by deploying his captain up front alongside Falcao.

Rooney looked determined to make an impression by making darting runs behind the North End back four.

Angel di Maria sensed as much, but an early attempt to play the skipper in failed as his pass was too heavy.

A brief moment of panic occurred when Daley Blind slipped on to his backside when shepherding a ball across the back four, but other than that United looked settled.

Joe Garner went down in the box following a nudge by Chris Smalling, but referee Phil Dowd waved play on.

Di Maria looked the most likely source of inspiration for United. The home fans held their breath as the B£59.7million man curled a free-kick up and over the wall but, much to their relief, the attempt flew just wide.

John Welsh gave the Argentinian a reminder he was at a League One ground when he put in a crunching tackle to dispossess the 27-year-old.

Welsh, a Liverpool fan who came through the Academy at Anfield, then dived in to deny Rooney with a crucial block after some good work down the left by Luke Shaw.

United’s tempo was much better than it had been in recent weeks and they moved from defence to attack quickly. Di Maria continued to dazzle, beating three Preston players with a run from deep.

But more often than not, the final ball from United was poor. Di Maria’s diagonal pass to Falcao was too heavy, Blind was guilty of the same thing and Rooney inexplicably fired a 40-yard pass straight out of play.

Luckily for United, Preston offered little going forward either. Their main chances before the break came when Garner headed over and Paul Gallagher fired a low shot at David de Gea.

Two minutes after the restart, the Preston fans got the dream goal they had wished for.

Laird ran on to Garner’s incisive pass and fired an early shot that squeezed past De Gea via the toe of Antonio Valencia.

Laird was booked for his frenzied celebration and a pyrotechnic went off among the home fans.

Tom Clarke came close to raising the Deepdale roof moments later, but he could not get a clean connection on a close-range volley.

Van Gaal replaced Falcao with Young, who moved out to the left wing.

United instantly looked more threatening with two wingers on the pitch and Young provided the assist for the equaliser.

The former Aston Villa man found Herrera, who fired a powerful shot past Stuckmann and in off the post.

Preston desperately tried to cling on for a money-spinning replay, but Fellaini struck to put the visitors ahead for the first time.

Valencia swung in a deep cross to find Fellaini. The Belgian’s first effort was blocked by Stuckmann but he stabbed the ball in at the second attempt.

And the result was put beyond doubt when Rooney raced on to a through ball and was brought down by Stuckmann.

The England captain got to his feet and banged the ball past the North End goalkeeper to seal United’s progression to the last eight.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Man Utd 3-0 Liverpool

Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-0 at Old Trafford but they had David De Gea to thank once again for saving a number of chances for the Red Devils.

Raheem Sterling was the chief culprit for Liverpool as De Gea flung himself in front of everything thrown at him and denied the Englishman shortly before Wayne Rooney latched onto an Antonio Valencia cross to open the scoring in the 13th minute.

Just before the break Juan Mata headed a second, but appeared to be offside and United went into half-time 2-0 up.

Mario Balotelli arrived from the substitutes’ bench, but could not make the difference as De Gea stood strong to deny Sterling once more. On 68 minutes the Spanish goalkeeper somehow deflected Balotelli’s shot onto the bar and shortly after Robin van Persie took advantage of a poor clearance from Dejan Lovren to make the points safe.

De Gea still had time to deny Balotelli twice more though, to rightly claim the Man of the Match award and all three points.

With both teams out of form, Gary Neville had predicted this match would resemble the “Dog & Duck versus the Red Lion”, but only one team defended like a Sunday league team in this grudge match. Liverpool’s marking and composure at the back was all over the place and United took full advantage.

Rodgers took a big gamble by dropping Simon Mignolet for Jones and starting Raheem Sterling as a lone striker. And the move backfired quite spectacularly.

United’s sixth consecutive win moves them to within eight points of Premier League leaders Chelsea. The repercussions for Liverpool are more serious. Rodgers insisted he was the right man to lead the Reds out of the mire before kick-off, but he walked down the tunnel to taunts of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” from the home fans.

Rodgers’ team routed United 3-0 here in March. Now they are ninth in the table, some 18 points off the summit. It will not take long for Liverpool supporters’ patience in their manager to run out if they keep performing like this.

There was no sign of the impending Liverpool meltdown early on. Rodgers’ team pressed high up the pitch and they could not get out of their own half in the opening five minutes.

United lacked composure and Marouane Fellaini was the worst offender. The big Belgian could not complete the simplest of passes and he hacked down Adam Lallana to receive a booking.

The home crowd groaned as United passed the ball backwards or sideways. Rodgers’ tactical gamble looked to be working at the start. Sterling — playing as a lone striker — caused Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick no end of problems with his pace.

His finishing let him down in the 12th minute when he stole in behind the defence and shot straight at De Gea. Just 25 seconds later Rooney showed his England team-mate how it should be done.

Rooney made a late run from deep and he was picked out by Valencia, who nutmegged Joe Allen to give himself time to deliver the precise pass. Jones dived the wrong way and Rooney swept home from 15 yards before he was mobbed by his jubilant team-mates.

Liverpool’s finishing let them down three more times before half-time.

Steven Gerrard tried — and failed — to beat De Gea from long range and the Spaniard thwarted Sterling again after he turned Jones with ease. Alberto Moreno also broke into the box but his touch was shoddy and Valencia rescued United.

Neville must have enjoyed the first half. Some of Liverpool’s passing did resemble that of a pub team.

United were putting their lead in danger though with some rash challenges. Jones, Evans and Rooney all went into the book for fouls on Phillippe Coutinho. Rodgers had to replace Glen Johnson with Kolo Toure after the right-back pulled up with an injury.

United did not look entirely convincing on the attack, but they still doubled their lead in controversial circumstances.

Van Persie flicked Ashley Young’s cross into the path of Mata, who nodded in his fifth of the season. The Spaniard was at least a yard offside but linesman Michael Mullarkey did not flag and the goal stood.

Balotelli was booed when he came on at half-time, while Liverpool’s best chances continued to fall to Sterling. The England winger picked up a short back pass from Evans, but could not finish thanks to the calm brilliance of De Gea.

De Gea was United’s saviour again when he tipped Balotelli’s shot on to the bar. Henderson spurned another good opportunity when he headed over from 10 yards.

United were far more clinical in front of goal. Van Persie delivered the fatal blow with 19 minutes to go. He will struggle to score an easier goal all season. Lovren had all the time in the world to hook Rooney’s square pass clear, but instead he fluffed it to Mata and he picked out the unmarked Van Persie, who slotted the ball home.

Premiership: Arsenal 1-2 Man Utd

An own goal from Kieran Gibbs and a Wayne Rooney strike gave Manchester United victory over Arsenal.

Gibbs collided with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before deflecting Antonio Valencia’s shot into his own goal.

Rooney added a second with a chipped finish after Angel Di Maria led a United counter-attack.

Olivier Giroud marked his comeback from a broken leg with a stunning left-foot strike in stoppage time but United held on to go fourth in the Premier League.

Read more at BBC Sport

International Friendly: Scotland 1-3 England

Wayne Rooney silenced the ferocious home supporters inside Celtic Park as England eased to victory over Scotland in the Battle of Britain.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain converted a superb deep cross from Jack Wilshere in the first half and Rooney scored his 45th England goal after the break to double the lead.

Andrew Robertson pulled one back for Scotland in the dying minutes, but they could not add a second and Rooney found the net to seal the 3-1 victory over England’s bitter neighbours and rivals.

England’s fans, vocal enough themselves, revelled in the victory, but they tainted their reputation by singing foul-mouthed provocative anti-IRA songs.

The Football Association will be forced to act, particularly when England are due to play in Dublin next June.

The main focus here should not be on the songs, though.

England deserve huge praise for the way they coped with the intimidating white-hot atmosphere in east Glasgow.

This was a real test for Roy Hodgson’s young squad and they passed it with flying colours.

Read more at ESPN

Euro 2016 Qualifying: Engalnd 3-1 Slovenia

Wayne Rooney helped England survive a scare against Slovenia on his 100th international appearance as they came from behind to make it four wins from four in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Rooney was presented with a golden cap by England and Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton before kick-off in honour of his landmark but underdogs Slovenia threatened to spoil the celebrations when Jordan Henderson’s own goal gave them the lead just before the hour.

England’s captain quickly restored order with his 44th goal for his country from the penalty spot, putting him joint-third with Jimmy Greaves in the all-time standings and moving him to within five of Charlton’s record.

With Slovenia’s resistance finally broken, Danny Welbeck struck twice to bring his tally to an impressive five goals in qualifying.

The Wembley surface was the subject of much debate after areas were churned up in the NFL game between Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys last Sunday.

Conditions were not perfect, but this was no excuse for a dire first-half display from England.

The eventful second half was a far cry from a dreadful opening 45 minutes, which was devoid of action and flouted its billing as entertainment in front of a crowd of more than 82,000.

England’s supporters gave 29-year-old Rooney a warm ovation as he was presented with his cap accompanied by his sons Kai and Klay – but it was all downhill in the first half.

Manager Roy Hodgson will be delighted his side raised their game after the break, stung into action by Slovenia’s goal, the first they have conceded so far in the qualifiers.

Rooney laid the foundations before Welbeck once more proved his importance as he followed his two goals against Switzerland and one against San Marino with another double here.

Once again England collected three points without truly impressing, the trend emerging from Group E, which they will surely move through untroubled to France in 2016.

And Hodgson, with another competitive victory secured, can now perhaps experiment in Tuesday’s friendly against Scotland at Celtic Park.

The first half was instantly forgettable, and a smattering of jeers greeted the half-time whistle.

England began the second with more attacking intent – they could hardly have had less – but were stunned when Slovenia took the lead after 57 minutes as Henderson glanced a perfect header high beyond Hart from Milivoje Novakovic’s free-kick.

The hosts needed a quick response and Rooney helped them deliver it, first winning the penalty when he was clearly tripped by Bostjan Cesar then dispatching it powerfully past Slovenia goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, who got a touch but could not keep the ball out.

In those few minutes the momentum swung in England’s favour, and they were soon ahead when Welbeck’s scuffed finish beat Handanovic after the goalkeeper had turned away Adam Lallana’s deflected cross.

And to emphasise the point, Welbeck underlined his growing stature as a striker – and his importance to Hodgson – with the third, playing a neat interchange with Raheem Sterling before steering in a composed angled finish.

Read more at BBC Sport

Euro 2016 Qualifying: Estonia 0-1 England

England laboured to victory over Estonia in Tallinn as Wayne Rooney’s late free-kick made it three wins out of three in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Rooney curled his shot in from just outside the area 17 minutes from the end of a mediocre encounter to give England’s captain his 43rd goal for his country – six behind all-time record holder Sir Bobby Charlton.

It rescued England as they struggled to break down the stubborn Estonians, who stood firm even after captain Ragnar Klavan had been sent off for a second yellow card three minutes into the second half.

And it spared manager Roy Hodgson some awkward questions over the omission of Raheem Sterling after Liverpool’s teenager admitted he was tired following the 5-0 win against San Marino at Wembley.

England monopolised possession but the lack of end product was alarming against opponents who were dogged but hardly an upgrade into the European elite after the stroll against San Marino on Thursday.

Rooney’s winner, a rare touch of class, also lifted his own performance after the 28-year-old struggled to apply his usual high standards. Indeed he was in danger of being replaced by Rickie Lambert just before his decisive contribution.

The Manchester United captain had opportunities before and after his goal to move closer to history but his display was in keeping with England’s night – largely frustrating and salvaged only by a single moment.

Hodgson used the diamond formation, as he had in the opening 2-0 win against Switzerland in Basel, but whereas there – with Sterling at its point – it looked effective, here it left England lacking in pace, creation and width. It was only when Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the Liverpool youngster were introduced that England looked like getting behind the hosts.

They can justifiably point to a job done, and nine points out of nine, but this largely uninspired fare did little to warm fans who turned out in plummeting temperatures in Tallinn.

There should be few obstacles in England’s way on the route to Euro 2016  – the possibility of 10 wins remains a strong one – but it is to be hoped the level of excitement is greater than that witnessed here in a group not exactly sprinkled with stardust.

After a minor scare in the opening seconds, England dominated the first period to such an extent that one point they enjoyed an 82% share of possession – the more telling statistic was that they did not muster a shot on target until the dying moments of the half.

This had much to do with Rooney’s failure to accept chances, volleying over from Jack Wilshere’s pass and showing an uncharacteristic lack of control and sharpness in the area when given other opportunities.

The visitors were looking for any advantage they could get and one arrived three minutes into the second half when Klavan departed after a cynical barge on Fabian Delph.

Hodgson made two changes in quick succession just after the hour as Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sterling replaced Delph and Jordan Henderson.

And Sterling was involved as England finally broke Estonia down after 73 minutes. He was fouled on the angle of the penalty area and Rooney weighed his options up carefully before curling in a low, right-foot effort from the set-piece.

Read more on BBC Sport