Belfast Telegraph

Wayne Rooney in focus against Manchester United

Manchester United came up against their record goalscorer, Wayne Rooney, as they visited Everton on New Year's Day.

Rooney, now Toffees captain, rejoined his boyhood club last summer.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how Rooney performed.


Playing in a deep role, Rooney was not really a threat in front of goal. He did try his luck with a long-range shot in the fourth minute but that was deflected for a corner. Beyond that, Rooney did not look like scoring.


Some of Rooney's most notable runs were made for defensive reasons. Never shy to get stuck in, the Everton skipper often back-tracked to try to break up Everton attacks. He did so very effectively once in the first half as United probed outside the area, but other efforts were not successful. He was booked for a poor challenge on Anthony Martial and later gave the ball away prior to the visitors taking the lead.


Rooney took responsibility for most of Everton's set-pieces but had no joy. An early cross into the box from a free-kick was particularly wasteful while his corners, mostly taken from in front of the United fans, were easily dealt with.


In terms of vision and awareness, Rooney could not be faulted. He spotted runs of team-mates and looked to pick them out while also creating gaps. Unfortunately for him, the execution was not there and many of his passes were misplaced.


Rooney was his usual hard-working self but this was not one of his better outings. United handled their former star player comfortably and he could not stretch them. One of his errors led to a United goal and, with the visitors getting on top in midfield, it was understandable that manager Sam Allardyce withdrew him just after the hour.

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