Wayne Rooney scored twice in Manchester United’s 4-2 win against Stoke to take him to 200 club goals just days after celebrating ten years playing in the Barclays Premier League.
The England striker Rooney also became the first United player to score at both ends in a Premier League game since David Beckham in 2001.
The own goal meant that again this season, United had to come from behind, recovering courtesy of Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck, only to require Rooney’s second to ease nerves created by a Michael Kightly goal for the visitors.
Tony Pulis’s side started the stronger, attacking their hosts in the opening exchanges. Charlie Adam, in particular, was a big threat.
It was the Scot’s touchline free-kick that Rooney ended up nudging into his own net. In a packed six-yard box and under pressure from Ryan Shawcross, Rooney was in an impossible situation once Adam had drilled the ball beyond the near-post.
The damage to United was nearly much worse as, moments later, Adam chanced his luck from the opposite touchline, forcing David de Gea into a fine reaction save.
Danny Welbeck, twice, and Patrice Evra wasted glorious opportunities before Van Persie and Rooney linked up to drag their side level.
Rooney fed his Dutch strike partner with a ball out to the left before racing into the box, where an inch-perfect cross was delivered by Van Persie. From a similar position to the one he found himself in at the other end, Rooney again found the net.
Stoke continued to forage but United were enjoying the upper-hand and the visitors could find no way of halting the constants attacks. Welbeck almost put his side in front from Rooney’s cross, then clipped the crossbar with a curling effort.
Eventually, United took the lead when Van Persie stole into space to meet Luis Antonio Valencia’s cross, rolling his deft-close finish into the corner. A minute after the break, United had another. Rooney was the provider this time with a cross that invited Welbeck’s flying header.
Jonny Evans was denied a fourth for United by Asmir Begovic’s magnificent save and Welbeck was inches away from turning home Rafael’s cross as he slid in at the far post.
Despite the home side’s dominance, Stoke managed to find a way through the United defence. Kightly charged down the centre of the pitch and after a fortunate ricochet off Rio Ferdinand, the midfielder calmly finished past De Gea.
United talisman Rooney was determined to end the day with three points, and he completed his double century of club goals for United and Everton in the easiest manner possible.
Van Persie’s low cross bobbed about in the six-yard area before rolling to the far post, where an unmarked Rooney tucked home.
|16 Mar 2013||v Reading (H)|
|26 Dec 2012||v Newcastle (H)|
|01 Jan 2013||v Wigan (A)|
|28 Nov 2012||v West Ham (H)|
|19 May 2013||v West Brom (A)|
|05 May 2013||v Chelsea (H)|