A quick look at his numbers and you can see how influential he was: 85% passing accuracy, 2 take ons, 1 assist, 2 goals.
He had a massive part to play in all of Man United’s three goals, exhibiting a deftness in execution that has been rare in Louis van Gaal‘s side this season.
With United imposing themselves on the home side from the outset, Rooney looked to have taken the game away from Steve McLaren’s side with two moments of great individual conviction; firstly, his cooly taken penalty, and secondly his splendid back-pass to tee up Jesse Lingard‘s goal.
But as Newcastle forced their way back into the game, partly due to some wobbly defending and partly due to Newcastle showing some grit, Rooney stole the initiative back with a sumptuous strike with 11 minutes left on the clock.
It was a strike and a performance good enough to win any game, but a last minute deflected goal, scored by Paul Dummett, a homegrown player, in front of the Gallagher end, means United will have to regroup for a massive game at Anfield against Liverpool on Sunday, a game in which United fans will hope to see their captain maintain the level of performance he showed on Tuesday.