Wayne Rooney produced a powerful performance during Manchester United’s 4-0 FA Cup third round win over Reading on Saturday afternoon.
The captain, returning from injury after missing three games, made history against Jaap Stam’s side by equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s club record of 249 goals with a side-footed volley in the eighth minute.
A glance at his stats from the game reveals the true nature of his performance.
Rooney's game by numbers vs. Reading:
5 chances created
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 7, 2017
Could it be that Rooney’s newfound tenacity and drive is strictly underpinned by a desire to usurp Charlton’s goalscoring record? What will happen once he inevitably gets it? He could very feasibly descend into his more habitual mediocrity, evoking memories of earlier in the season; he could, on the other hand, completely remove the shackles and kick on, displaying the same levels of power and determination seen against the Royals.
Either way, even the staunchest of anti-Rooney observer would have to admit that the captain’s urgency and precision on the pitch has significantly improved since Jose Mourinho left him out of the starting XI throughout October, and United fans will hope to see Rooney continue in the same vein.