Belfast Telegraph

Wayne Rooney Focus

Wayne Rooney was the centre of attention as, one day ahead of a court appearance, he returned to Old Trafford to face former club Manchester United for the first time since his summer move to Everton. Here, Press Association Sport looks at how his afternoon went.


After scoring a club record 253 goals for United and playing a major role in their winning of 12 major trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League, Rooney certainly warranted a warm reception. So it proved as he was welcomed back by the stadium announcer and had his name chanted enthusiastically by the home fans. A couple of banners paying tribute were also held up and he earned a good ovation when he was substituted late on.


Once the game got under way, Rooney was his usual hard-working self. Clear openings were rare but he kept busy, dropping back to win possession or getting forward looking for space. One good opportunity came his way in the first half when he waited on the edge of the box for a Cuco Martina pass.


Rooney did well in possession in many different situations. He held the ball up well in midfield and kept United at bay when helping out in defence. He made some good runs forward and his determination created a shooting chance for himself early in the second half. United had clearly prepared for him, however, and he often found he had little space in which to operate.


Rooney failed to hit the target with the first major chance that came his way, dragging a shot across goal. His second attempt came after he won the ball from Eric Bailly to get in on goal but David de Gea was equal to his snap-shot.


The former United forward showed plenty of determination to impress on his return to Old Trafford, and drag Everton back into the game after falling behind early, but it did not happen for him. United kept a close eye and he was unable to take advantage of a couple of openings.

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