Rooney reaches landmark in win

Manchester United produced an impressive performance in their first UEFA Champions League game under David Moyes to beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 at Old Trafford.

Last Updated: 18/09/13 at 11:05 Post Comment

Manchester United celebrate as Wayne Rooney puts them on course for 4-2 victory

Manchester United celebrate as Wayne Rooney puts them on course for 4-2 victory

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Wayne Rooney struck twice to bring up 200 goals for the club, but it was a controversial opener from the England striker midway through the first half to set United on course for victory in their Group A opener.

It looked like United would be made to pay for a shocking Rooney miss when Leverkusen drew level in the 54th minute as Simon Rolfes' long-range effort deflected wickedly off Michael Carrick.

However, Robin van Persie quickly restored United's lead and Rooney made it 3-1 before Antonio Valencia's excellent goal on the counter-attack in the 79th minute.

Omer Toprak grabbed a late consolation for the German side but it did not spoil a wonderful start to their latest European campaign for the Premier League champions.

Maroaune Fellaini and Shinji Kagawa were brought in for starting roles and United began brightly, as Rooney had an early shot blocked by Emir Spahic, with Van Persie also firing wide in a solid if unspectacular start.

Chris Smalling, making his first appearance of the campaign, looped an effort over off his back before United opened their account in the 22nd minute.

A Ronaldo-esque dance from Van Persie by the touchline bamboozled the Leverkusen defence, then Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Kagawa were all involved in sending Patrice Evra darting towards the by-line. His cross was met by Rooney, whose shot bounced over goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

What Slovenian referee Damir Skomina - and the rest of his officials - had missed was Valencia virtually falling into Leno as Rooney's shot came towards them. If Valencia was not interfering with play, it is hard to see how anyone ever could be.

Van Persie's decision to engage in a face-to-face row with Skomina was not the wisest choice and brought him a booking.

Still, with Kagawa coming agonisingly close to a second just before the interval, United did not have a lot to concern them.

That confidence was badly shaken not long after the restart. As he glided round Leno, Rooney looked certain to tap home. Instead, he rolled his effort beyond the far post, too far in front of Van Persie to enable the touch that would also have doubled United's lead.

Both Moyes and, in the directors' box, Sir Alex Ferguson, struggled to comprehend how United were not two up.

To make matters worse, the visitors immediately went down to the other end and equalised as Leverkusen skipper Rofles met Heung-min Son's lay-off perfectly and saw his curling effort take a deflection off slight Carrick before finding the corner.

It took a moment of genius from Van Persie to restore United's advantage, hooking Valencia's cross in with a semi overhead kick that left Leno so startled he could not react quickly enough.

Once they were back in front, United were in no mood to surrender the initiative again.

Rooney's landmark goal came 20 minutes from time as he took advantage of poor defending from a long David de Gea pass to lift a shot neatly past the onrushing Leno and it at the near post.

Rooney then set up Valencia for his first European goal in nearly two years following a sweeping counter-attack also involving substitute Ashley Young.

Toprak pulled one back after a goalmouth scramble caused by De Gea's failure to punch clear before Van Persie failed to convert from barely a yard.

Still, for Rooney - who left to a standing ovation - and Moyes, it was a very pleasing evening indeed.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Wednesday, 10 December 2014
19:45
Ajax 4-0 Apoel Nicosia Report
Ath Bilbao 2-0 BATE Borisov Report
Barcelona 3-1 PSG Report
Bay Munich 3-0 CSKA Mosc Report
Chelsea 3-1 Sporting Report
FC Porto 1-1 Shak Donetsk Report
Maribor 0-1 Schalke Report
Roma 0-2 Man City Report
Tuesday, 09 December 2014
Benfica 0-0 Leverkusen Report
B Dortmund 1-1 Anderlecht Report

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha in Arsenal's 2-1 win over QPR.

Premier League: Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky give 10-man Arsenal 2-1 win over QPR

Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over QPR despite Olivier Giroud's second-half sending off.

Premier League: Manchester City respond to Chelsea's victory by winning at West Brom

Manchester City won 3-1 at West Brom to reduce the gap on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League back to three points.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property