Saturday 21 April 2018

Wayne Rooney in focus as he nets 200th Premier League goal

Wayne Rooney enjoyed scoring his 200th Premier League goal at the Etihad Stadium
Wayne Rooney enjoyed scoring his 200th Premier League goal at the Etihad Stadium

Wayne Rooney made a memorable return to Manchester by scoring his 200th Premier League goal in Everton's 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium.

The former Manchester United striker has a habit for making headlines and Monday night's clash away at City was no different.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses Rooney's performance as the Toffees kept up their unbeaten start to the season.

GOAL THREAT

The England forward barely had a sniff before converting his 200th Premier League goal after 35 minutes, and he took great delight in reaching the milestone at the Etihad Stadium by cupping his ears in front of the stunned City fans. His positioning between Dominic Calvert-Lewin and the Everton midfield caused the hosts a few problems. Rooney also tried a speculative effort to catch Ederson off his line while a late header was easily saved by the City keeper.

RECEPTION

Perhaps it was the fog which followed the pre-match pyrotechnic display, or maybe it was the fact City started so dominantly, but the reception afforded to Rooney by the home fans was not too vitriolic to begin with. Vincent Kompany eased the former Manchester United forward out of the way which brought a lukewarm cheer from the Etihad Stadium faithful, while his first few proper touches saw the decibel level increase. Silence fell over the home fans when he bagged the opener, though.

CREATIVITY

The 31-year-old did not see much of the ball in the opening half hour but he did keep play ticking over for Everton - before firing a delivery from a deep free-kick straight out of play with Everton's big men waiting in the box. Rooney also wasted another free-kick and presented City with a chance to break with a sloppy pass just before half-time which was not punished. He did show some neat touches, though, and held the ball up well to release some pressure for Everton in the second half.

OVERALL

Rooney might have preferred to reach his landmark goal at Goodison Park but the Etihad Stadium would have been near the top of his list of alternatives. Apart from his strike, though, Rooney used all of his experience to put in a professional performance to keep Everton in touch up until he was substituted in the 89th minute. His passing was good, for the most part, he seemed to be a yard sharper than last season at United and he took up good positions to keep City's defence on their toes.

Press Association

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