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Wayne Rooney’s five best Man Utd goals

Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Wayne Rooney became Manchester United’s outright record goal-scorer on Saturday when he scored his 250th goal for the club to earn a 1-1 draw at Stoke City.

AFP Sport selects the five most memorable strikes from his United collection:

Manchester United 2 Newcastle United 1 (Premier League, April 2005)

Rooney’s first season at United was a frustrating one as his side were left for dead by Chelsea in the Premier League and lost to Arsenal in the FA Cup final, but he gave a sign of the glories to come with a stupendous volley against Newcastle United. As United advanced towards the Stretford End, Rooney was having an argument with referee Neale Barry when Peter Ramage’s high, headed clearance dropped into his path. He stepped forward, met the ball on the full 25 yards out and ripped it into the top-left corner with his right foot, an angry scowl on his face throughout.

Manchester United 2 Portsmouth 1 (FA Cup, January 2007)

Renowned for his pace and raw power, Rooney showcased a defter side to his game with a delicate chip against Portsmouth in the FA Cup. After receiving the ball near the right-hand apex of the penalty area, Rooney took a couple of touches and then sent the ball in a gentle parabola over goalkeeper David James, against the underside of the crossbar and in. “It was a fantastic goal and I remember Eric Cantona doing that in the FA Cup against Sheffield United,” said United manager Alex Ferguson. “It was nice to get Wayne scoring and the chip really was world class.”

Manchester United 4 Bolton Wanderers 1 (Premier League, March 2007)

Rooney has never truly clicked with any of his strike partners, but he formed a lethal duo with Cristiano Ronaldo as United romped to the Premier League title in 2006-07. Rooney netted twice at home to Bolton Wanderers and his first strike, which was his 50th goal for United, was a perfect illustration of the complicity between the pair. From a Bolton corner, the ball broke to Ronaldo on the edge of the box and he sprayed a pass forward to Rooney, who returned it into his path. Ronaldo bore down on the Bolton goal before slipping the ball left to the overlapping Rooney, who neatly chipped goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Manchester United 2 Manchester City 1 (Premier League, February 2011)

Rooney scored his most famous goal in a 2-1 win over derby rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford. With the score 1-1 in the 78th minute, Nani curled a cross into the City box from the right that took a slight deflection. Loitering to the left of the penalty spot, Rooney quickly adjusted his body and launched himself into a stunning overhead bicycle kick that catapulted the ball into the top-right corner. “It was stunning. Unbelievable,” said Ferguson. “We’ve had some fantastic goals here, but in terms of execution… you’ll never see that.”

West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United (Premier League, March 2014)

Always a player with half an eye on the opposition goalkeeper, Rooney had been threatening to score a long-range lob for some time before finally achieving the feat against West Ham United. As the ball bounced down United’s right-hand touchline, Rooney eased defender James Tomkins out of the way before launching the ball into the sky from five yards inside the West Ham half. Caught off his line, goalkeeper Adrian made a desperate backwards dash, but could not prevent the ball bouncing into the net. Watching on, coincidentally, was David Beckham, who memorably announced his emergence as a United star with a halfway-line lob at Wimbledon in 1996.

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