MANCHESTER (United Kingdom): Wayne Rooneybecame Manchester United’s outright leading European goal-scorer as Jose Mourinho’s side enhanced their chances of progressing in the Europa League by sinking Feyenoord4-0 on Thursday.
Rooney struck in the 35th minute to claim his 39th European goal, one more than Ruud van Nistelrooy, and move to within just one goal of Bobby Charlton’s all-time club scoring record of 249.
Further goals by Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and a Brad Jones own goal completed a win that left United a point below Group A leaders Fenerbahce in second place ahead of their final game at Zorya Luhansk.
“I’m very happy. It was a very similar performance to others that we had in the Premier League, but this one with goals and that makes a difference,” said United manager Mourinho.
“We needed four points. We know that one defeat we are out, so we had that little bit of pressure on the shoulders, but the players coped very well with it.”
United will go into their last game knowing a draw will take them into the last 32, having avenged their 1-0 match-day one defeat at Feyenoord, who slipped to third in the group.
Thursday’s win was a personal triumph for Rooney, 31, who had branded the British media “disgraceful” after he was pilloried for supposedly ‘gatecrashing’ a wedding while on England duty.
Rooney told a BT Sport reporter the furore had been a “big deal out of nothing”.
“I didn’t set foot in the wedding and it’s a shame to have to speak about it on nights like this,” he added.
Charlton, now a United director, was watching on at Old Trafford and could now see Rooney equal his record against West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday