Wayne Rooney fired back at the media over his behaviour when on England duty after breaking Manchester United’s individual scoring record in Europe by registering his 39th goal in the 4-0 win over Feyenoord. The victory at Old Trafford moves José Mourinho’s team to within a point of the Europa League knockout stage.
The United captain denied attending a wedding at the team’s Grove Hotel when he was photographed out late the night after victory in a World Cup qualifier over Scotland, and he showed his discontent when asked if his display was more satisfying because of his recent troubles.
“All that is created by people like yourself asking questions now, people in the media making a big deal over nothing,” he told BT Sport’s Des Kelly. “I actually did not step foot into the wedding and I think it is a shame I am having to talk about it now after such a great victory.”
The 31-year-old accused sections of the media of wanting to “write my obituary” following Saturday’s draw with Arsenal.
Rooney’s display against the Dutch side, during which he set up Juan Mata for United’s second goal, was his best for some time and he was happier when talking about breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s European mark. “It is a great feeling to score goals and to score goals for this club. I am pleased and I am sure there is plenty more to come. I am happy with the win first of all, but also the goal,” he said.
Of Mata’s finish, Rooney added: “The second goal killed the game. Even though we were in control, at 1-0 you never know what will happen, so the second goal killed them off.” An own goal by Brad Jones, the visiting goalkeeper, and a Jesse Lingard strike in added time completed a fine win.
José Mourinho was delighted for Rooney. “When you make history it’s beautiful and they’re beautiful details in your career. For Wayne it’s fantastic. More important than that is three points and the performance. It’s an amazing achievement obviously [Rooney’s]. It will be even better if it helps us bring to this club the only trophy they have never won. It’s not the biggest competition, so let’s try, let’s push.”
United need to draw against Zorya in Odessa in a fortnight’s time to qualify. “It’s always difficult [to win the Europa League], but let’s try and qualify. If we qualify in Ukraine there will be more matches to come and more goals for Rooney to score. His performance was like the team, as good, as solid,” Mourinho said. “The team was very positive and Wayne was very positive. As always we played with a lot of people in attacking positions and the team played very well.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan impressed in what was only a second start for United and was given a standing ovation when replaced in the second half. Mourinho said: “The reception he deserves because he played very well. Always improving, improving, improving, improving. He was really tired and I felt it was the right moment to bring him off and to let him come off with a very good performance is important for his confidence. He needs to keep adapting and replicate this kind of performance in the Premier League, which is a competition that requires different characteristics.”
The Armenian said: “It was a pleasure to play again and to start the game. I have tried to do my best and I think it is a very good result for the team. It was very difficult to watch the team playing from the side but you have to have passion and work hard and try and take the next chance. I hope this is a new start, let’s see.”
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