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Manchester United's Wayne Rooney goal record bliss

By Tim Rich

Published 25/11/2016

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)

After producing his best performance of the season, Wayne Rooney said the furore surrounding his drinking had nothing to do with his motivation to prove his critics wrong.

The England captain scored the opening goal in Manchester United's 4-0 defeat of Feyenoord in the Europa League and made the second for Juan Mata. His opener meant he overtook Ruud van Nistelrooy as Manchester United's leading goalscorer in European football and he is now one goal behind Bobby Charlton's all time Unite scoring record .

"It is a great feeling to score goals for this club and there are plenty more to come," Rooney said.

"All that furore is created by people like yourself asking questions about the (wedding) incident. It's people in the media making a big deal over nothing. I actually did not set foot in that wedding and I think it's a shame I am having to talk about it after such a great victory."

The victory over Feyenoord means that Manchester United need merely to avoid defeat in their final group game, away to Zorya Luhansk, to qualify for the knockout phases of the Europa League.

The United manager, Jose Mourinho, remarked that after overtaking Van Nistelrooy's record, Rooney's task should be to help his club win the competition.

They are the bookmaker's favourites to do so.

"Rooney's is a remarkable achievement obviously it would be even better if he could help the club to win the one competition it has never won - the Europa League," said Mourinho, whose first European trophy was the Uefa Cup with Porto 13 years ago.

"It is not the biggest competition and there are a lot of games, but it is one we want to win. Let us qualify and let us try to win it."

One of the highlights of the night was the appearance of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who had disappeared without trace since his £27m transfer from Borussia Dortmund.

His last start at Old Trafford, in the Manchester derby defeat back on September 10, had seen him substituted at half time.

This was vastly better and his manager has called for more of the same if the Armenian has any designs on tasting more regular action as the season - both domestic and continental - continues to unfold.

"He now needs to replicate this kind of performance in the Premier League," said Mourinho, whose side host West Ham on Sunday.

"This is one more step and it gives him the right to believe he can play in the next match. He needs to play with more physicality and more aggression but he has the quality and that is why we bought him."

Belfast Telegraph

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