LONDON (AFP) – Wayne Rooney became Manchester United’s all-time leading scorer in dramatic fashion as his last-ditch wonder goal rescued a 1-1 draw at Stoke, while Liverpool’s title challenge suffered a major setback in a shock 3-2 defeat against Swansea on Saturday.
#BREAKING Football: Wayne Rooney becomes Manchester United’s record goalscorer
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 21, 2017
Rooney surpassed Bobby Charlton’s tally of 249 goals for United when he struck with a superb effort deep into stoppage-time at the Britannia Stadium.
The 250th goal of Rooney’s glittering United career was just the 31-year-old’s fifth of a difficult season and came as a timely reminder of the striker’s class after he was relegated to the role of a fringe player for long periods this term.
It was also much needed by United, who had fallen behind in the 19th minute when Juan Mata deflected Erik Pieters’ shot into his own net.
Jose Mourinho sent on Rooney in the 67th minute and the England star, who had gone two games without a goal since equalling Charlton’s record in an FA Cup win over Reading on January 7, wasted his first chance to make history when he headed wide from six yards.
We pick out some of the best goals from Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United career
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 21, 2017
But Rooney refused to be denied and, with Charlton watching from the stands, his magic moment arrived four minutes into stoppage-time when he curled a superb free-kick past Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant and into the top corner.
Rooney’s gem extended United’s unbeaten run in the league to 13 matches, but lost in the euphoria of his landmark strike was a disappointing result that leaves his team three points adrift of the top four.
“It means a hell of a lot. It is a great honour and I’m very proud,” said Rooney, who signed for United from Everton in 2004.
“It is not something I expected when I joined. The players who have played for this club have been world class.