Wayne Rooney returned to action after missing over a month of Manchester United’s season due to a suspension picked up against West Ham United back in September.
The lack of European football and League Cup elimination meant the club only played three games in October, with the captain missing all of them after he swung a leg at Stewart Downing.
Rooney looked rusty early on, misplacing several passes but soon showed the energy what the side has missed in his absence.
One pitch-long run ended in the striker tackling Yaya Toure fairly on the edge of his own penalty area before a more impressive run past four Manchester City players almost ended in Angel Di Maria grabbing an unlikely equaliser for the side with ten men.
Reaction from supporters after the game seemed to suggest the majority were glad to have the captain back in the team despite many believing the side would be better without him during his suspension.
Rooney looked good even after not playing in a long time. If only he'd scored. Would've been so special considering his run before the shot.
— SAF's Army (@BecksSwerves) November 2, 2014
Replacing Wayne Rooney is going to be near impossible. He's our engine. Lose our identity when he's missing.
— Elliott (@ElliottUnited) November 2, 2014
Rooney, what a player.
— Renato (@UtdLover) November 2, 2014
Wayne Rooney makes such a difference to our team, he's been our best player today, good to have him back.
— Jack Boorman (@UnitedHeaven_) November 2, 2014
I can't understand how people criticize Rooney so much. He's United heart and as a captain now he's giving his all, running everywhere.
— Bert (@MUtdBert) November 2, 2014
Rooney’s return will be a relief for Louis van Gaal given the poor form of Juan Mata in the captain’s absence. The Spaniard struggled to make a case for his spot in the team whilst the no.10 was out and van Gaal had no hesitations throwing his captain back into the side for the derby game.