Rooney leads Man United to 4-0 - win with record-breaking goal
Wayne Rooney surpassed Ruud van Nistelrooy as Manchester United's all-time top scorer in European competitions yesterday, leading the English club to a 4-0 win over Feyenoord and keeping it alive in the Europa League.
After scoring his 39th European goal in the 35th minute, Rooney also unselfishly set up Juan Mata in the 69th, leaving United on its way to an easy victory, and in a good position to advance to the knockout rounds.
United got a third on the board with an own-goal by Feyenoord goalkeeper Brad Jones, after an angled shot by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 75th.
Substitute Jesse Lingard added a fourth in injury time.
"Tonight was a performance and a result," United manager JosÈ Mourinho said.
"Today they played very well again, and with goals, which is very important for us. We always told since Day 1 we wanted to do well in the Europa League and we were in a position of needing four points and now we need just one."
United reached nine points and is only one behind Group A leader Fenerbahce, which defeated Ukraine's Zorya Luhansk 2-0 in Turkey. Feyenoord has seven points.
An away draw against already eliminated Zorya in the final round in December will be enough to send United through and help relieve some of the pressure on Mourinho.
Rooney's goal - his first at Old Trafford this season came after a well-timed pass by Ibrahimovic. The England forward calmly flicked the ball over Jones after receiving the ball behind the Feyenoord defenders inside the area.
It was Rooney's 248th goal for United, leaving him just one short of Bobby Charlton's all-time record with the club.
The 31-year-old Rooney's chances of drawing level with Charlton ended for this match when he was substituted in the 82nd.
A good night's work for Rooney came more than a week after he was forced to apologise for apparent late-night revelry while on England duty, when he was pictured looking bleary-eyed at a wedding reception at the team hotel.
Rooney insisted to BT Sport after Thursday's match that "I actually didn't even step foot into the wedding," adding "I think it's a shame that I'm having to talk about it now after such a great victory."
On his European record, Rooney said: "It's a great feeling to score goals and to score goals for this club."