Football

Wright: Disgraceful to criticise Roon

Former Arsenal star says 'magnificent' United skipper deserves more credit

Seven minutes into the third-round clash, Old Trafford erupted in collective joy as one of Manchester United's greatest players scored his 249th goal for the club.

Wayne Rooney's effort off his knee drew him level with Bobby Charlton who, rather fittingly, was chief among those celebrating the goal early in the 4-0 win against Reading in Saturday's FA Cup tie.

Rooney will claim the record exclusively with just one more goal but, even when he does so, he will probably never be mentioned in the same breath as Charlton.

For some reason, the much-criticised 31-year-old has never been able to win over fans completely and this is something that irks Arsenal legend Ian Wright.

Believing that Rooney hasn't received due credit for what he has achieved for United, Wright told BT Sport: "When you listen and hear how people talk about him, it's disgraceful.

"He's done magnificently."

Rooney also found another supporter in Paul Scholes, his United teammate for nine years.

"It's a great achievement, we said that at half-time," the ex-United midfielder told BT Sport.

"He's been a sensational player for this football club, won many trophies, and the thing that most impresses me is that he's been here for so long but the hunger, the desire is still there."

With an eye on this Sunday's intriguing EPL clash with arch-rivals Liverpool, Scholes added: "I thought today he was very good.

"He looked sharp, he had great movement, his touch was very good, his all-round game was brilliant.

CLASH WITH LIVERPOOL

"Let's hope he breaks that record against Liverpool."

Rooney's goal on Saturday paved the way for United's eighth win in a row - their best run since September 2009.

United manager Jose Mourinho said of Rooney: "I think the best day for him will arrive.

"His best day will be the next goal. If he scores the next goal, he becomes the top scorer in the history of Manchester United."

Rooney turned provider to set up Anthony Martial for United's second goal at Old Trafford, before Marcus Rashford ended his 17-match goal drought with a second-half double.

Rooney, after matching a record that has stood for almost 44 years, said: "This club is a huge part of my life and I'm honoured to be up there alongside Sir Bobby.

"It's a proud moment. To do it at a massive club like Manchester United, I'm hugely honoured."

Reading boss Jaap Stam, a former United player, also paid tribute to Rooney.

Said the Dutchman: "He's an outstanding player and it's no surprise he has scored so many goals.

"You can see what it means to him because even when they were 4-0 up, he was still running." - WIRE SERVICES


3RD RD RESULTS (SELECTED)

SATURDAY

  • Birmingham 1 Newcastle 1
  • Bolton 0 Crystal Palace 0
  • Everton 1 Leicester 2
  • Hull 2 Swansea 0
  • Man United 4 Reading 0
  • Millwall 3 Bournemouth 0
  • Norwich 2 Southampton 2
  • Preston 1 Arsenal 2
  • QPR 1 Blackburn 2
  • Stoke 0 Wolves 2
  • Sunderland 0 Burnley 0
  • Watford 2 Burton 0
  • West Brom 1 Derby 2

YESTERDAY

  • Cardiff City 1 Fulham 2
  • Liverpool 0 Plymouth 0
FA CupManchester Unitedwayne rooney