Rooney scored his first Premier League away goal in almost a full calendar year when he slotted past Tim Howard after a brilliantly weighted pass by Ander Herrera. It was the 29-year-old’s second league goal this season and his first in eight years at his old stomping ground.
Man United’s captain has been coming under huge criticism for his poor form recently, as he has put in some underwhelming performances, especially in the league. Rooney has been under immense pressure and it was encouraging to see him respond in style at Goodison Park.
Van Gaal was ‘happy’ Rooney scored and is backing his skipper to start a scoring streak: “I said a lot in a press conference last Friday, we have to score like a team,” van Gaal said after the game.
“Because of the attention on Wayne I am happy he scored, I believe his last goal here was in 2007. That is crazy but now I think he shall score more.”
Van Gaal will be as relieved as Rooney that England’s leading goalscorer is starting to look like he is getting back to form. A goal against Sunderland broke his duck and, despite a poor showing at the Emirates Stadium, he seemed more like the Wayne Rooney of old against Everton.
It would be a huge boost for United if their main striker can find his top form once again. With a run of tough games to come, including the visit of Manchester City to Old Trafford, an on-song Rooney can help the side to some positive results.