Remembering Wayne Rooney's best moments at Old Trafford ahead of his return with Everton
Last Updated: 17/09/17 4:33pm
As Wayne Rooney prepares to face Manchester United with Everton on Nissan Super Sunday, we recall some of his best Premier League moments at Old Trafford.
The 31-year-old spent 13 seasons at Manchester United between 2004 and 2017, becoming their all-time leading scorer with 253 goals in 559 appearances.
From his boxing celebration against Tottenham to that overhead kick against Manchester City, here are some of his Old Trafford highlights.
Rooney found himself in the spotlight in March 2015 when a video was published by a national newspaper showing him being knocked to the ground by his former team-mate Phil Bardsley. The footage created a predictable furore, but Rooney made the light of the situation by pretending to be knocked out when he scored in United's 3-0 win over Tottenham on the same day.
The celebration was a big hit with the Old Trafford faithful, and Rooney defended his right to privacy afterwards. "It's in my own home, it's not public, it's what friends do - they mess around in the house," he told Sky Sports. "It was a couple of mates in a private house, and somehow it's managed to get on the front page of a national newspaper."
Hat-trick in the 8-2
Rooney was the inspiration behind the famous 8-2 thrashing of Arsenal in August 2011, scoring the sixth hat-trick of his career as Manchester United clinched one of the most memorable results in their glittering history.
Rooney's first goal that day was his 150th for the club, and he surpassed Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy with his second. "It is always a great feeling to score and to score over 150 for a club like United is great," he said afterwards. "Hopefully there are many more to come."
Ending Arsenal's run
The 8-2 was not the first time Rooney had tormented Arsene Wenger's side in a United shirt. Back in October of 2004, he was instrumental in ending their 49-game unbeaten run at Old Trafford, winning the penalty for Ruud van Nistelrooy's opener and scoring their second goal himself.
It was a memorable way to mark his 19th birthday and another occasion which went down in Old Trafford folklore. For Arsenal, it marked the beginning of a gradual decline.
Rooney produced another unforgettable moment when Newcastle visited Old Trafford in April 2005. Sir Alex Ferguson's side were trailing to a Darren Ambrose goal midway through the first half when Rooney met Peter Ramage's looping clearance with a stunning right-footed volley.
United went on to win the game 2-1, with Ferguson heaping praise on Rooney after the game. "It was a phenomenal strike," he said. "I was ready to take him off because he had been injured in the first half but he's always such a threat I decided to keep him on. It was absolutely fantastic."
Overhead kick against City
Rooney's stunning overhead kick against Manchester City will be remembered as his greatest Old Trafford moment. The acrobatic finish from Nani's deflected cross gave United a crucial 2-1 win over their rivals on their way to winning the title. In 2012, it was voted the best goal in the history of the Premier League.
Rooney has described it as his "most important" goal for United, while Ferguson ranks it as his best. "As Wayne was making his way towards the box he had to change direction and mobilise himself to hit the ball the way he did," said the former United boss. "It was unbelievable - I think that's the best to be honest."