In-form Rooney gears up for Reds

Wayne Rooney celebrating with Juan Mata after scoring the third goal for Manchester United against Newcastle.
Wayne Rooney celebrating with Juan Mata after scoring the third goal for Manchester United against Newcastle.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Liverpool have been warned - Wayne Rooney has regained his form just in time for Manchester United's trip to Anfield on Sunday.

The Red Devils skipper netted a brace and provided an assist in the 3-3 draw against Newcastle on Tuesday - his best Premier League performance since December 2014.

The 30-year-old opened the scoring with a well-taken penalty before displaying his playmaking skills with a disguised reverse pass to play Jesse Lingard in for United's second.

And his venomous curler from 20 metres to hand United a 3-2 lead was vintage.

It has been 11 months since Rooney's previous league goal double and 28 months since he last scored in three straight United appearances.

He also found the net against Sheffield United in the FA Cup and ended a run of 553 minutes without a goal for his club by deftly flicking in a cross to secure a 2-1 league triumph against Swansea.

  • 11 Months since Wayne Rooney's previous Premier League goal double for Manchester United.

    28 Months since Rooney previously scored in three successive United appearances.

Prior to his goal against the Swans, the striker had been under pressure, having netted just twice for the club between August and December.

History, however, suggests that Rooney scores in batches and the former Evertonian would love to get on the scoresheet on Sunday, particular as Liverpool have shut him out in nine of 10 matches.

Last season, the England international scored four times in four matches in February and March, and repeated the trick for club and country in November.

In the 2012-13 season, he went on a four-game scoring run twice.

In the campaign before that, he hit seven in four games in August, six in four in March and five in April, reported the Daily Mail.

Following Rooney's performance at Tyneside, United legend Paul Scholes, one of the Red Devils' biggest critics this season, could not hold back on his praise for his former team-mate.

"For the last two or three weeks he's been on the brink of looking back to the old Wayne Rooney," the former midfielder told BT Sport.

"This is the Wayne Rooney we love. It's great to have him back and I just hope it carries on."

Rooney's haul took his tally to 241 goals in 505 appearances for the club, eight adrift of United legend Bobby Charlton, who netted 249 times in 758 matches.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2016, with the headline 'In-form Rooney gears up for Reds'. Print Edition | Subscribe