Wayne Rooney - Story of his record goal
Wayne Rooney registered his 249th Manchester United goal on Saturday to equal the club's all-time record scorer Sir Bobby Charlton's haul.
The 31-year-old United skipper's seventh-minute strike against Reading in the third round of the FA Cup saw him move level with former England great Charlton in 215 fewer appearances.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at the story behind the striker's historic moment in his 543rd game for United.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
Rooney, back after three games out with a thigh injury, had already gone close with one effort when he broke the deadlock in the seventh minute. He had been lurking in the box ready for Anthony Martial's cross when the Frenchman sped forward and although he passed inside to Juan Mata, the Spaniard then lifted the ball into Rooney and a volley which looped up off his right knee dropped into the corner.
WHAT WAS THE REACTION?
Rooney leapt into the air and fist-pumped in celebration before being mobbed by his United colleagues. Charlton himself was in the stands to witness the moment and he let out an expression of joy as the ball hit the net while Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager who signed Rooney from Everton 13 years ago, was seen smiling and clapping among the supporters.
COULD HE HAVE BROKEN IT?
He did his best to. In the first half Rooney lifted one of his trademark chips over Ali Al Habsi's crossbar from the edge of the box while he surprisingly deferred a free-kick from a little further out to Mata. The best chance came early in the second half when the ball dropped to him inside the six-yard box and he looked destined to poke home but, in front of a Stretford End crowd halfway through their celebrations, Al Habsi stuck out a right leg to deny him.
WHEN CAN HE BREAK IT/WHAT'S THE NEXT RECORD IN HIS SIGHTS?
Rooney will not have to wait long to make history as United are back in action at Old Trafford for the first leg of a League Cup semi-final against Hull on Tuesday night. Should he fail to find the net then, or indeed miss out on selection with Jose Mourinho expected to rotate his team again, then there is the small matter of a Premier League clash with the boyhood Evertonian's rival club Liverpool on Sunday.
WHAT DID HE SAY?
"It's a proud moment to do so at such a massive club like Manchester United. I'm hugely honoured to be able to play for this football club but to be up there in terms of goals with Sir Bobby, it's a really proud moment for me and hopefully I'll be out there on my own soon. But I'll enjoy today because it's a real honour."
DOES IT ACTUALLY COUNT?
The PA announcer who mentioned Rooney's feat when reading his name out after the goal certainly seemed to think so, but it is worth pointing out that Charlton actually scored an additional two goals that are not recognised in the annals of their history. A brace in his swansong against Verona in the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1973 is not counted among his 758 appearances and his goal tally is therefore considered to be 249, rather than 251.