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[VIDEO GOALS] Manchester United 3 – 1 Aston Villa: Is Rooney Back?

Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney of Manchester United beats Richard Dunne of Aston Villa to the ball prior to scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on February 1, 2011 in Manchester, England.Before the game, Sir Alex Ferguson brushed aside the unfortunate fact that Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record this season has been poor, and stated that Berbatov was thriving on Rooney’s hard work around him, and therefore the partnership is successful.

However, he will no longer have to explain the questionable goalscoring form of Rooney this season if the 25 year-old continues in this vain. Two good goals from inside the box; the places he was scoring them all last season, as well as a clever assist both helped Manchester United passed Aston Villa in front of the pleasantly pleased Old Trafford crowd. Were they witnessing Rooney’s return to form that everyone had been waiting for?

Whatever they did witness didn’t take long to unfold. A clearance by van der sar in the United keepers box saw Rooney bring the ball down with exquisite touch, and with a clinical finish, blasted the ball past a flailing Brad Friedel in the Aston Villa goal. This may have been the spark that Rooney needed to kick start his season again. He had already mounted on the right track, and now the engine in him was beginning to chug away. It will take a few more games and goals, but soon, Rooney could be back in full swing, speeding along the right track, smashing in goals, reminiscent of last season – well, hopefully.

His second goal, and United’s, came just before half time. The goal highlights Rooney’s need for service. This season, he has desperately missed the unselfish Antonio Valencia’s reliably accurate delivery from the right wing. Nani won the ball on the right, and emulated Valencia with a superb delivery into a perfect area – too far for the keeper to catch, and close enough for the striker to poke home. Rooney did so brilliantly, controlling his shot into the net with his left foot, and wheeling away behind the goal in a toned down version of delight – but delight nevertheless.

Just to put the crowd on edge, United slacked off in their defending, and allowed Darren Bent time and space in the box.  Stewart Downing crossed it to the English striker, and with the whole goal to aim at and no one to challenge him, Bent had to score – and he did. Aston Villa then had the chance to get back into the match, and grab an equaliser – much like United did in the previous fixture this season.

Alas, United did what they have done many times this season. That is, just as the opposition got themselves into a better position, and had the momentum to continue, the Red Devils killed the game. The killer goal in this game came from an unlikely source, and with an equally unpredictable finish.

Nemanja Vidic headed down in the box to Wayne Rooney from a cross from the right. He then began his movement away to give Rooney space to hold the ball up and find space. Rooney watched Vidic, and teed him up perfectly to swerve a powerful shot into the net as the helpless Villa defence watched on.

United have done it again, and remain undefeated in the Premier League. Berbatov may have not added to his growing goal tally, but Rooney has, and can use this game as a springboard to better things and finally redeem himself to the United fans after that transfer saga. Finishing with a quote from Sir Alex Ferguson himself on Rooney:

“The man’s got a great appetite to play and everyone should remember that.

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