Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

How did Wayne Rooney fare on his Manchester United comeback?

Published 16/04/2016

Wayne Rooney was involved in Manchester United's only goal against Aston Villa
Wayne Rooney was involved in Manchester United's only goal against Aston Villa

Wayne Rooney made his first Manchester United start for two months in their Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

Rooney's knee injury allowed Marcus Rashford to burst onto the scene, and manager Louis van Gaal paired the two together here.

With a question mark over his England place, Press Association Sport looks at the impact made by Rooney on his comeback.

WORK-RATE

With Rashford up front, Rooney played in a deeper role. He did not over-exert himself but popped up on both wings and in the area on occasion and did not appear to struggle with the pace of the game prior to being replaced by Jesse Lingard with 23 minutes remaining.

GOAL THREAT

Playing in midfield meant Rooney did not offer the threat he might have done had he been up front. His first chance came with 10 minutes remaining in the first half but his curling shot from outside the box was comfortable for Brad Guzan. Rooney's best opening came early in the second half but his lay-off showed in a heavy touch when a sharper one might have seen him clean through.

OVERALL IMPACT

Rooney was given a very warm reception when he came off, showing how pleased the United fans are to see him back. Understandably he was fairly quiet to start with but grew in influence as the first half wore on and it was his raking pass out to the right that allowed Antonio Valencia to set up Rashford for the only goal. Another subtle pass might have created a second for Juan Mata. Overall, a positive first outing for the England captain.

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph