MANCHESTER UNITED 4
BAYER LEVERKUSEN 2
STRIKER Wayne Rooney hit his 200th Manchester United goal to see off Bayer Leverkusen last night and manager David Moyes believes he can become a legend at Old Trafford.
Rooney became only the fourth player in the club’s history to reach that milestone, scoring twice to help earn United’s first Champions League win under Moyes.
Moyes rejected two bids for Rooney from Chelsea in the summer, with the striker thought to be keen on a move.
However, Moyes is content that Rooney – now 49 goals behind all-time leading scorer Bobby Charlton – is fully committed to the cause and expects to see him score goals for United for a long time to come.
“He’s got a chance to be one of the real greats here with his goalscoring,” said Moyes. “I thought his goals were great and he deserved his ovation when he came off. His performance was terrific.
“He’s been great in training and worked hard. He looks fit and lean and that showed in his performance.
“Robin’s [van Persie] goal as well was great and I always felt if we can get those two scoring we would be formidable.
“The players knew what they had to do and went about it well.”
Rooney’s opening goal on
22 minutes angered Leverkusen, managed by former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia, who were adamant midfielder Antonio Valencia was standing in an offside position and impeding goalkeeper Bernd Leno as the England striker volleyed in from seven yards.
But Simon Rolfes equalised after half-time with a deflected effort from the edge of the box to lighten their mood.
However, United regained the lead when Leno could only punch van Persie’s volley into his own net and Rooney soon made it 3-1 with a near post finish after a long kick forwards from goalkeeper David De Gea caught out the Leverkusen defenders.
A swift counter-attack, finished off by Valencia on 79 minutes, put the result beyond doubt, before Toprak’s consolation goal on 88 minutes.