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Rooney pride as Reds go top

23 Jan 2010 18:42:19

Rooney pride as Reds go top

WAYNE Rooney celebrated the first four-goal haul of his career as he helped send Manchester United soaring back to the top of the Barclays Premier League. Rooney opened his account against relegation-threatened Hull after just seven minutes. But he had to wait until a similar period from full time before he really cut loose, scoring on three more occasions to become the first United player to hit four in a game since Ruud van Nistelrooy did it in a Champions League encounter with Sparta Prague in November 2004. "It is the first time I have scored four times in a professional football match and it is a great feeling," said Rooney. "I am really proud of the achievement. It is something special." On current form, it appears only a matter of time before Rooney gets the five goals required to exceed his previous best seasonal tally of 23. "I'm confident of beating my best season at United," he said. "I will be disappointed if I don't because I've still got hopefully another 20 games to play. I won't be happy if I don't get more than 23. "The difference this season is that I've consciously been getting in the box more and trying to put myself in goalscoring situations." In what has at times been a difficult season for United, Rooney has been the shining light, taking over the responsibility of being the focal point of United's attack from the departed Cristiano Ronaldo. Ferguson added: "He has always been a main player for us, from the moment he came to the club. He never gets left out." Rooney's efforts were ably assisted by possibly Nani's best performance in three seasons since his £17million arrival from Sporting Lisbon. And they took the focus away from fan protests at the club's ownership, which has been put in the spotlight by confirmation United's debt are now in excess of £700million. Even the sale of their training ground at Carrington and their iconic Old Trafford home have been mentioned in a prospectus to drum up support for the £500million bond issue, which was successfully completed on Friday. Pleas for unity from Ferguson in his programme notes went unheeded with noisy and regular anti-Glazer chants of varying degrees of vulgarity echoed around the ground. "There was no dissent against the players," said the United boss. "It did not have any effect at all." What do you think? Have your say.


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