Saturday 17 February 2018

Wayne Rooney draws level with legend Bobby Charlton as Man United's top goalscorer

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring their first goal
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring their first goal

Liam Blackburn

Wayne Rooney has equalled Bobby Charlton's all-time Manchester United scoring record after notching his 249th goal in the FA Cup tie with Reading at Old Trafford

The 31-year-old scored in the seventh minute of his 543rd United appearance to move alongside Charlton having played 215 fewer games than the England great.

Rooney, who joined United from Everton in 2004 and scored a Champions League hat-trick on his debut against Fenerbahce, turned home a fortuitous volley from Juan Mata's cross after Anthony Martial had burst into the box.

Two seasons ago, England skipper Rooney also surpassed Charlton as his country's all-time top scorer in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland.

After missing three games with a thigh injury, Rooney was recalled to the starting line-up for the third-round contest with the Royals and started brightly, flicking on for Marcus Rashford to fire wide inside the first minute.

Moments later he had the chance to equal Charlton's record when he brought down Marcos Rojo's long pass but Reading goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi denied him.

However, history would not have to wait much longer as Rooney found the net in the seventh minute.

From the left, Martial knocked the ball past Wales international Chris Gunter and found Mata inside, with his clip across being converted by Rooney, who managed to beat Al Habsi despite not getting a clean contact on his attempt.

The United skipper greeted the landmark with a small fist pump while the PA announcer mentioned his landmark strike while reading out the scorer's name to the crowd.

Both Charlton and Alex Ferguson, the manager who brought Rooney to Old Trafford 13 years earlier, were seen smiling amongst the spectators after the strike.

Press Association

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