The skipper opened the scoring from the penalty spot inside the opening 10 minutes after a handball from Chancel Mbemba in the box and Rooney converted calmly, just as he did against Sheffield United at the weekend. The 30-year-old then turned provider to set up Jesse Lingard to from a classic counter attack.
After the Geordies had pulled Man United back to 2-2, Rooney’s brilliant strike from the edge of the box gave the Reds the lead before Paul Dummet brought the hosts back on level terms in the final minute. It was a painful end for United fans but they were delighted with their captain’s display:
LVG ready to take on all comers there! Where has this Wayne Rooney been hiding?! #MUFC
— Alan Flatley (@alflats11) January 12, 2016
What a strike! Where's the clueless anti-Rooney brigade now?! #mufc
— Gary Scowen (@Gary_Sco) January 12, 2016
Wayne Rooney has FINALLY arrived in the 2015/16 season. His best game in at least 3 yrs. What a goal. #MUFC
— SEUN (@Dan_Onas) January 12, 2016
Rooney of old, sensational hit
— Pilib De Brún (Phil Brown) (@Malachians) January 12, 2016
United will certainly feel they should have come away with all three points having had the lead on so many occasions but the defence ultimately let them down when it mattered most. Rooney has come under immense scrutiny for his form this season but is now showing signs of putting a decent goalscoring run together.
England’s record goalscorer looked like his old self, especially with his second goal which he placed right into the top left corner. Having scored against both Swansea and Sheffield United recently, Rooney has the chance to prove many critics wrong and show he is still instrumental to this United team.