Rooney up and running
Published 29/08/2010 | 05:00
Wayne Rooney ended his five-month wait for a goal as he set Manchester United on their way to a comfortable 3-0 Premier League win over West Ham.
Rooney's 33rd-minute penalty after Jonathan Spector had fouled Ryan Giggs will hardly enter his personal haul of fame. But it ends the talk of his scoring drought and should go some way to easing the 24-year-old back to top form after a slow start to the season.
Second-half efforts from Nani and Dimitar Berbatov, who took his tally to three in four games, sealed victory to keep United in touch with early pace-setters Chelsea, who were 2-0 winners over Stoke City thanks to Florent Malouda and a Didier Drogba penalty.
Rooney had not scored since March but had no problem stroking the ball home from the spot in the first half.
"The performance was the thing that stood out for me," United manager Alex Ferguson said of his striker. "He enjoyed his football today, he was full of energy which was good because he's not had a lot of football lately with a virus that has meant he has not trained.
"He looked much more like himself. But this was a very good team performance. Everyone wanted the ball, they were looking to pass, a good collective performance."
Andrey Arshavin's 51st-minute strike ensured Arsene Wenger emerged unscathed from another all-action battle with Blackburn at Ewood Park in yesterday's early kick-off.
Arshavin stroked the ball home after a Cesc Fabregas effort was blocked in the box as the visitors proved themselves full value for their win.
Theo Walcott had rammed home the Gunners' opener before Mame Diouf equalised seven minutes later.