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Manchester United 4-0 Feyenoord: Wayne Rooney becomes Red Devils' top scorer in Europe

Published 24/11/2016

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammate Juan Mata during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammate Juan Mata during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a overhead attempt on goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (R) celebrates after Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata (unseen) scored their second goal during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Feyenoord at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on November 24, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: Juan Mata of Manchester United (8) celebrates with team mates as he scores their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Feyenoord at Old Trafford on November 24, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Manchester United's Juan Mata scores his side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United's Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan (C) fires a shot into the side netting during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Feyenoord at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on November 24, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (R) chips the ball over Feyenoord's Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones (L) to score the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Feyenoord at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on November 24, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United beats Miquel Nelom of Feyenoord to the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Feyenoord at Old Trafford on November 24, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan dejected after a missed chance during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) and Feyenoord's Miquel Nelom battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United beats Miquel Nelom of Feyenoord to the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Feyenoord at Old Trafford on November 24, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan (left) and Feyenoord's Nicolai Jorgensen battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Feyenoord fans cheer on their side in the stands during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (left) and Feyenoord's Miquel Nelom battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (L) holds off Feyenoord's Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt (R) during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Feyenoord at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on November 24, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (R) greets Feyenoord's Dutch manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst (L) ahead of the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Feyenoord at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on November 24, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho arrives for the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Feyenoord at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on November 24, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho before the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
File photo dated 23-11-2016 of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. PA
Police escort Feyenoord fans in to Old Trafford before the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Brad Jones of Feyenoord during the Feyenoord training session at Old Trafford on November 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Justin Bijlow of Feyenoord (L), Brad Jones of Feyenoord (C) and Pär Hansson of Feyenoord (R) take part in a training session during the Feyenoord training session at Old Trafford on November 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Brad Jones of Feyenoord during the Feyenoord training sessi n at Old Trafford on November 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Manchester United have beaten Feyenoord 4-0 in their Europa League Group A match.

Wayne Rooney became United's all-time leading scorer in Europe as Jose Mourinho's side defeated Feyenoord to move to the brink of qualifying for the Europa League's last 32.

Twelve years after starting his continental tally with a hat-trick on debut and five days after vowing he was "not finished yet" as an England international, Rooney moved beyond Ruud van Nistelrooy's haul of 38, and one behind Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time tally of 249, with a cool first-half dink.

It was then Rooney's brilliant reverse pass that allowed Juan Mata to double the lead in the second half before an own goal from Brad Jones and a Jesse Lingard strike made it 4-0, ensuring United need just a point against Zorya Luhansk in two weeks to progress.

There were other positives for Mourinho to take - not least Henrikh Mkhitaryan's impressive outing on his first start in two months - but this was a night that belonged to Rooney.

Fenerbahce's victory over Zorya earlier had left Mourinho's side with a simple equation - lose and they were out or secure four points in the final two games and they would advance.

Mkhitaryan's involvement, which had been promised by his boss, saw him largely occupying the left flank under Mourinho's glare, and he looked keen to impress with several nice touches most obviously demonstrated with four first-time passes exchanged with Rooney which nearly produced a chance.

Opportunities did fall to Paul Pogba, whose attempt was pushed over by Jones, and Michael Carrick when his measured effort from the edge of the box was diverted away by a combination of ex-Liverpool duo Jones and Dirk Kuyt.

The latter had been afforded a reception typically reserved for those to have called Merseyside home, though he almost silenced the Old Trafford faithful with an effort Sergio Romero diverted past his post with a flick of his right foot after the Argentinian had also saved from Rick Karsdorp.

Kuyt was operating in a central-midfield berth, one some have suggested may suit Rooney more, but he showed his value further forward with the opener.

The 31-year-old instigated the move by breaking down the left and feeding Zlatan Ibrahimovic inside on a three-on-four break which evened up when Rooney's marker Jens Toornstra lost his footing, allowing United's captain to collect a return pass and deliciously lift the ball over the onrushing Jones.

The desire to formulate the attack and the poise to round it off was reminiscent of Rooney's earlier days in red, though back then the pacy teenager may have reached Pogba's second-half chipped pass over the top which, on this occasion, bounced away into Jones' arms.

A side Mourinho had dubbed "the unlucky team in the Premier League" at the weekend seemed intent on wrapping up matters after the interval, with Mata's own chipped effort from range brilliantly tipped over by Jones.

The Spaniard turned the ball home minutes later but even the most fortunate club in the land would have seen the offside flag raised given how far Mata had strayed beyond the line.

Of United's attacking outlets it was Mkhitaryan, with his purposeful runs and excellent close control, who was impressing the most and the Armenian fired into the side netting following a give-and-go with Ibrahimovic.

Any fears United would fail to make their dominance count were dispelled with two goals inside six minutes.

The first, in the 69th, came after Carrick won the ball back, Ibrahimovic flicked through to Rooney in the box and he displayed the vision to find Mata inside to leave him with a routine finish.

It was Mata's last act, though not United's, and for once luck was on their side as Ibrahimovic's pull-back from the byline was diverted into the net by Jones' heel.

Rooney and Mkhitaryan made way to gratuitous applause with the job done and further gloss was applied by one of their replacements as Lingard finished from the edge of the box in stoppage time.

Online Editors

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