Wayne Rooney gave a tidy performance during Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Swansea City in the Premier League on Sunday.
The 31-year-old was given a chance to impress at No.10 in a changed system and he didn’t disappoint, producing a series of intricate passes as Jose Mourinho‘s men ran riot in the first-half.
A glance at Rooney’s stats reveal how efficient the captain was all afternoon.
Rooney's game by numbers vs Swansea:
1 key pass
66% success rate
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 6, 2016
Above anything, this was a true captain’s display from the Englishman: selfless, composed and dedicated to the cause. His running power against Bob Bradley’s side, even after playing a full game in Istanbul just 72 hours before, deserves credit. Rooney’s technical ability may be quickly diminishing, but the 31-year-old – often overawed by away trips to lesser sides (or just away trips in general) – made up for it through sheer dedication and footballing intelligence.
This is something that United fans – myself included – often overlook: the days of Rooney slaloming past bamboozled defenders and single handedly dominating opponents ended some time ago. His footballing brain, however, has continued to develop, and the captain’s positioning against Swansea was crucial when it came to opening up space for the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata to wreak havoc all afternoon.