98 touches, 93% passing accuracy: Rooney proves his midfield credentials

The Manchester United captain was in impressive form against Chelsea, despite the 1-0 scoreline.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney put in a strong performance in midfield during his side's 1-0 loss to Premier League leaders Chelsea.

With Michael Carrick and Daley Blind out injured, the United skipper dropped back into midfield from his favoured attacking role, but that didn't mean he put in a disappointing display.

  PositionTeamTotal Scoring AttSuccessful Take OnsPassing AccuracyAccurate PassTouchesTotal Final Third PassesWon TackleDuel WonAppearancesMins Played
Wayne Rooney MF Man Utd 4 3 92.5% 74 98 25 3 6 1 90

Rooney led the way in several key areas for his side, and was competitive in pretty much every other key midfield statistic as the Red Devils dominated possession at Stamford Bridge.

The former Everton man had more scoring attempts than any other United player, and also contributed to more final third passes than any other teammate as his side pressed in vain for a goal. Rooney was also level with Antonio Valencia when it came to successfully dribbling past players, and won as many tackles as anyone else in the side. He was also the second strongest midfielder after Ander Herrera when it came to passing accuracy and touches.

There has been plenty of talk about whether playing Rooney in midfield is a waste of his talent, and recent performances in his favoured position of striker have seemed to prove that if Van Gaal has a clutch of midfielders at his disposal, then it is the right idea to put Rooney in a position where he can do the most damage. But against the Premier League leaders, the United star proved himself a more than capable emergency option in whatever midfield position he is needed in.

To put it another way, Louis van Gaal must wish he had more than one Wayne Rooney. 

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