Wayne Rooney breaks record to rescue Manchester United draw
English striker scores late free-kick as Jose Mourinho’s team take point from Stoke trip
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney celebrates after breaking the all time goalscoring record for Manchester United. Photograph: Reuters
Stoke 1 Manchester United 1
Wayne Rooney broke Manchester United’s all-time scoring record in dramatic fashion, bending home a stunning 250th goal to secure a hard-fought draw at Stoke deep in stoppage time.
Just as the match looked to be slipping through United’s fingers at the bet365 Stadium, the 31-year-old stepped up — like he has done so many times since joining from Everton in 2004 — to land a crucial blow.
Rooney’s outstanding free-kick sent the visiting support wild, cancelling out Juan Mata’s first-half own goal and securing a 1-1 draw that saw the captain move clear as United’s all-time top scorer in front of Bobby Charlton.
The forward is not unequivocally loved like the man he has usurped as United’s all-time top scorer, but his impact at the club is undeniable.
Rooney and United had looked set to return home frustrated, with the captain watching from the bench as Stoke went ahead through Mata’s own goal in a first half in which they failed to muster a shot on target.
Jose Mourinho would call upon the forward in the 67th minute but there looked to be no way past well-drilled Stoke, with last-ditch defending, fine goalkeeping from Lee Grant and wayward finishing putting United’s 16-match unbeaten run in all competitions in jeopardy.
However, United did not give up and Rooney bent home a fine free-kick from an acute angle to the delight of the visiting supporters and the watching Charlton.