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Wayne Rooney celebrated his new deal with Manchester United by helping David Moyes' men to a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The England international pledged his long-term future to the Old Trafford club by agreeing a new five-and-a-half-year deal on Friday, and he showed his value to the Barclays Premier League champions with his 12th goal of the season in all competitions 24 hours later as Man Utd ended their three-match winless run.
After Robin van Persie had opened the scoring from the spot after 62 minutes, Rooney hit a delightful effort from inside the area that left Julian Speroni helpless.
The win moves Man Utd into sixth while for Tony Pulis' Palace, the defeat ends their run of three straight top-flight wins at home.
Adnan Januzaj - part of a forward four that also included Rooney, Van Persie and Juan Mata - threatened early on for the visitors, dragging a shot wide of Speroni's left-hand post.
Man Utd enjoyed the better of the opening 15 minutes, keeping the ball well but failing to get in behind Palace until Januzaj jinked past Joel Ward before firing home a strike that was ruled out by referee Michael Oliver.
Despite their array of attacking talent, Moyes' side struggled to break down a Palace side that came into the game unbeaten at home in the league this year.
Rooney saw his delivery cleared off the line by Damien Delaney before Nemanja Vidic's follow-up flew over the crossbar.
At the other end, David De Gea was called into action just before the half-hour mark, getting down to his right to save Ward's deflected header.
Marouane Fellaini, making his first appearance since December, spurned an opportunity to hand Moyes’ men a half-time lead but he curled his effort over the crossbar after a burst into the penalty area.
Jason Puncheon could have done better with Glenn Murray's knockdown after the break - with the former Southampton man only managing a tame effort that De Gea easily smothered.
Murray then went close with an acrobatic effort just before the hour, but when Van Persie coolly fired home from the spot after 62 minutes - it took the wind out of Palace's sails.
The Dutchman swept home his spot-kick, after Marouane Chamakh had taken out Patrice Evra in the area, before Rooney doubled United's lead with 22 minutes remaining.
After Evra's cross sat up nicely for him, Rooney cut across the ball, diverting it past Speroni and into the Argentinian's top left-hand corner.
Rooney's goal put the gloss on the Man Utd victory and sets Moyes' men up nicely for their UEFA Champions League clash with Olympiacos on Tuesday.
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis: "I thought United had a couple of good chances in the first half and on another day they could have scored. They've not had many chances though, the keeper's not made any saves.
"Giving them the penalty obviously gave them a lift. I thought it was a penalty - Cham [Chamakh] has come across him. He's worked really hard - I don't think he played very well today, but he worked really hard for us and he just made a bad decision, caught Evra and it was a penalty."
Manchester United manager David Moyes: "It is great news [Rooney's new deal]. It is a great signing for us. To try and buy a player like Rooney is going to cost you a lot. He's a really important player, you think about the amount of clubs who wanted to sign him. Wayne is one of the top players, he shows it week in, week out. We never had any intention of letting him go. Wayne has been great since day one.
"The finish [for his goal] was exquisite. It's a bit like Wayne, [having] not much time to think about it and bang, he pulls the trigger.We're on his case and we want him to keep at it."
|02 Mar 2014||v Swansea (A)|
|08 Mar 2014||v Southampton (H)|
|15 Mar 2014||v Sunderland (A)|
|22 Mar 2014||v Newcastle (A)|
|29 Mar 2014||v Chelsea (H)|
|05 Apr 2014||v Cardiff (A)|