The skipper started as a centre-forward and was barely involved in the first half, as Man United struggled to get on the ball and have extended periods of possession. Rooney was poor in his hold up play when he did find himself with the ball and struggled to win aerial battles against Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure.
Despite the below par display from United’s form player, the 30-year-old was in the right place at the right time, as all good centre-forwards are, to give his side a crucial three points. He controlled his volley to perfection on the rebound from a Marouane Fellaini header which hit the crossbar and supporters were delighted with his contribution:
Positives too. Darmian getting back to form, De Gea consistently brilliant, Rooney on form and Martial is a bit special.
— Cantona's Collar (@LeKingsCollar) January 17, 2016
5 goals in 4 games now for Rooney 2 penalties & 3 great finishes. Mini resurgence?
— Schadenfreude (@RickIndeed) January 17, 2016
Chuffed for Rooney five goals in five games, who'd have thought that? Since the turn of the new year he's shown signs of the old Rooney.
— Amy Watson (@amywaatson) January 17, 2016
An absolute smash-and-grab and I love it. Take it however it comes at Anfield. De Gea as indomitable as ever and Rooney coming in clutch.
— Rust Cohle (@RichDelgiorno) January 17, 2016
I don't want to hear anything about Rooney anymore either. He was awful but right now he's the reason we're not 12th or something. Captain.
— Daniel Feliciano (@dmf180593) January 17, 2016
— Man Utd Update (@MufcDevilUpdate) January 17, 2016
Rooney’s strike gave him the record of the most goals scored by any player for a single Premier League team, surpassing Thierry Henry in the process. It was the former Everton man’s first goal at Anfield since 2005 and will definitely be one he remembers for a long time to come.
Having come under scrutiny earlier in the season for some poor performances, the turn of the year has seen an huge improvement in the England captain’s form. Five goals in his last four appearances are an indication that he could be on his way back to his best and a firing Wayne Rooney could be a huge factor in United’s race to finish in the top four this season.