The 31-year-old, returning from a three-game spell on the sidelines, equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s 44-year-long goalscoring record at Man United with a well taken volley in the eighth minute.
Rooney picked up an assist for Anthony Martial‘s goal moments later and went on to produce a commanding performance at No.10.
Mourinho, speaking after the game, was quick to shower praise on the Englishman.
“A more special day will arrive. It was great but I want one more goal! He is an amazing guy in the group and we all want him to do that. To have Wayne as the top scorer in a club like this is magnificent for him,” he said.
“We play well, but not better than in some matches in which we did not win. Everything is built on some not so good result. It was a very important for the creation of empathy and a strong group. I am happy because it was a professional job from minute one.
“We knew Reading could create difficulties especially if you allow them to settle in the game. It is also good for me to see some of the players that are not starting in many games – they are good physically and I can count on them for the rest of the season.”
It is no secret that Rooney, over the past few years, has been a polarising figure at Old Trafford: some herald the captain as a fundamental aspect of Mourinho’s side, capable of producing game-changing moments at No.10; others lambast him for being an immobile and ultimately detrimental influence at the heart of United’s attacking frontier.
But regardless of how you feel about Rooney, the captain deserves the praise of all supporters – and indeed the watching world – for managing such an astronomical total. His name will be forever enshrined in the club’s history books, and his total will take some serious beating.