Saturday 23 September 2017

Wayne Rooney breaks Bobby Charlton's Man United goalscoring record and rescues point with stunning free kick

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney applauds fans after the game. Reuters / Darren Staples
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney applauds fans after the game. Reuters / Darren Staples

Evan Bartlett

Wayne Rooney moved past Bobby Charlton to become Manchester United's outright all-time highest scorer on Saturday as he netted his 250th goal for the club in the Premier League clash with Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium.

A fortnight on from his early effort in the FA Cup win over Reading, which put him alongside Charlton at the top of the list on 249 United goals, Rooney became the sole record-holder by netting a stoppage-time free-kick against the Potters.

The 31-year-old United and England skipper - who surpassed Charlton as his country's all-time top scorer in 2015 - curled the effort past Lee Grant into the top corner to salvage a 1-1 draw for his side.

Rooney told Sky Sports after the game: "(It means) a hell of a lot.

"It's difficult at the moment to be over-pleased because of the result - two points dropped - but in the grand scheme of things it's a huge honour for me.

"It's something I never expected when I joined the club but I'm really proud and hopefully there's a lot more to come."

For what was his 546th competitive United appearance, Rooney had come off the bench in the 67th minute as a replacement for Juan Mata, whose own goal had out Stoke 1-0 up in the 19th.

Rooney did not made much of an impact thereafter - until he stepped up to take the free-kick from the left, just outside the box, in the fourth minute of added time.

After sweeping the ball into the net in superb style, he celebrated in a fairly restrained manner, only briefly embracing his team-mates as he ran back to the halfway line, presumably as he thought there was still time for United to win the contest.

Meanwhile, Charlton and Sir Alex Ferguson were among those in the stands applauding the historic moment.

United boss Jose Mourinho said: "It's a record of the biggest club in England, one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"It's a record that belonged before him to an amazing legend of English football, so now Wayne becomes definitely a legend for Manchester United."

United then tweeted a tribute from Charlton, who said: "I'd be lying to say I'm not disappointed to lose the record. However, I can honestly say I'm delighted for Wayne."

The club's former skipper Bryan Robson tweeted: "Congratulations @WayneRooney fantastic achievement"

SEASON BY SEASON

2004-05 - 17 (Premier League 11, FA Cup 3, Champions League 3)

2005-06 - 19 (PL 16, League Cup 2, CL 1)

2006-07 - 23 (PL 14, FA 5, CL 4)

2007-08 - 18 (PL 12, FA 2, CL 4)

2008-09 - 20 (PL 12, FA 1, CL 4, Club World Cup 3)

2009-10 - 34 (PL 26, LC 2, CL 5, Community Shield 1)

2010-11 - 16 (PL 11, FA 1, CL 4)

2011-12 - 34 (PL 27, FA 2, CL 2, Europa League 3)

2012-13 - 16 (PL 12, FA 3, CL 1)

2013-14 - 19 (PL 17, CL 2)

2014-15 - 14 (PL 12, FA 2)

2015-16 - 15 (PL 8, FA 2, LC 1, CL 4)

2016-17 - 5 (PL 2, FA 1, EL 2)

BY COMPETITION

Premier League - 180

FA Cup - 22

League Cup - 5

Champions League - 34

Europa League - 5

Club World Cup - 3

Community Shield - 1

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