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.
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