Wayne Rooney provided the knock-out blow as Manchester United recorded a vital 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. The England international scored the last of three goals for the Red Devils, crowning an impressive afternoon for the Old Trafford outfit.
Little needs to be said about the off-field events surrounding the Manchester United skipper, but it is fair to say he hit back at his critics with an inspirational performance against the Lilywhites. With a top four finish a necessity ahead of next season, Rooney was on fire as the Red Devils welcomed Spurs, as the Opta stats suggest.
|Team||Goals||Total Shots||Shot Accuracy (%)||Key Passes||Pass Accuracy (%)||Dribble Success (%)||Interceptions||Clearances||Mins Played|
|Wayne Rooney||Man Utd||1||5||20||2||79||100||2||4||90|
Reverted back to the old all-action forward that had been suppressed so long this season, he looked like he was enjoying himself at Old Trafford once again. While he was not always at the centre of United's build-up play, he grew more into the game as it went on, and he was eventually allowed to dictate play and he subsequently took a stranglehold on proceedings.
Rooney was the afternoon's most creative player, both in terms of his shots fashioned and key passes crafted. He managed five attempts at Hugo Lloris's goal, one of which proved accurate, while he set-up a further two chances for his teammates. His goal, scored on the 34-minute mark, means he now has 11 in the league for the season, making him the club's top scorer.
|Manchester United Top Scorers 2014/15||Position||Goals Scored||Appearances|
|Robin van Persie||FW||10||24|
The United skipper is renowned for his work-rate both in an attacking and defensive capacity, and this shone through against Spurs. Louis van Gaal will have been mightily impressed with Rooney's efforts off the ball, as he made two interceptions and four clearances - a superior contribution to the entire midfield, with the exception of Ander Herrera, who broke up play twice more.
His distribution proved below-par, it has to be said. After all, he completed just 79% of his attempts to find a teammate; 5% lower than his average pass success-rate for the season. Nonetheless, due to the manner of the Red Devils victory, it's unlikely that the Englishman's overall efficiency will come under scrutiny. In this case, his goals are all that matter.
Rooney has now scored 14 goals in his last 14 Premier League appearances at Old Trafford, while he has also bagged eight goals in his last nine league starts against Tottenham. There's now little doubt that he is the club's best striker - easily capable of scoring 20-plus goals a season - and if he continue his fine form, United can look to Sunday with at least a little more confidence.