Manchester United dominated in their 3-1 Boxing Day victory over Newcastle United in the Premier League, with Wayne Rooney producing a masterclass from midfield.
As the Red Devils' strengthened their hold on third spot, the 29-year-old weighed in with two goals and an assist in a performance that saw him named as 'Man of the Match'.
The wealth of world-class attacking talent at manager Louis van Gaal's disposal has seen the Dutchman deploy his club captain in a more withdrawn midfield role, a position in which he has thrived in recent weeks.
While many would suggest he is most adept as a more orthodox centre-forward, few could complain about his performances since operating at the heart of the club's midfield.
|Team||Key Passes||Shots||Shot Accuracy (%)||Passes||Pass Accuracy (%)||Dribbles||Tackles||Interceptions|
|Wayne Rooney||Man Utd||2||4||50||61||90||1||2||1|
Rooney's brace proved the icing on the cake as he caused tremendous difficulties for the travelling Magpies. He could have had a hat-trick had he been more clinical on the day, but of his four attempts at goal just two were accurate.
In a creative capacity he thrived, crafting two key passes, one of which resulted in Robin van Persie's eighth league goal of the season.
He fulfilled his defensive responsibilities in the centre of the park with aplomb, while his distribution proved impeccable - he completed 90% of his passes, won two tackles and made one interception.
Newcastle failed to challenge for the most part of the match, nevertheless, Rooney dealt with any threat that the visitors were able to muster with supreme confidence.
Providing Van Gaal can maintain a fully-fit strike force, Rooney is likely to occupy this new role for the foreseeable future.
Capable in both an attacking defensive capacity, the England international is certainly capable of competing with the best midfielders that the Premier League has to offer.