China / Sports

Rooney set to surpass Sir Bobby

By Agence France-Presse in Manchester (China Daily) Updated: 2017-01-09 07:15

United captain ties Charlton as club's all-time leading scorer

After watching Wayne Rooney tie Manchester United's scoring record in a 4-0 FA Cup win over Championship side Reading on Saturday, manager Jose Mourinho told the captain his best day is still to come after

Rooney, 31, scored his 249th goal for the club to match Bobby Charlton's record, set in March 1973, as United made it eight wins in a row - its best run since September 2009.

Rooney can break the record against Hull City in Tuesday's League Cup semifinal first leg.

"I think the best day for Wayne 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," said Mourinho.

"It's amazing because everyone knows who Sir Bobby is and what he means for the club. For Wayne to score as many goals as him for Manchester United is fantastic."

Rooney set up Anthony Martial for United's second goal at Old Trafford in Saturday's third-round tie before Marcus Rashford broke his 17-match scoring drought with a second-half double.

Rooney was delighted to make history after matching a record that has stood for almost 44 years, particularly with Charlton watching from the directors' box.

"This club is a huge part of my life and I'm honored to be up there alongside Sir Bobby," Rooney said.

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

Reading boss Jaap Stam, making his first return to Old Trafford as a manager after his hugely successful time as a United player from 1998 to 2001, also paid tribute to Rooney.

"I think Wayne has been a great player, right from the beginning when he arrived here," said the 44-year-old Dutchman.

"He's a player who works very hard and I think you could see that here with the work rate he has and the quality he has.

"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."

Rashford praise

United was ruthless and could have scored many more as it strolled into the fourth round with a routine win.

"It was very professional - I could see that from the first minute because we had two chances to score," said Mourinho.

"We played well, but we knew they were good with the ball so when we gave them the chance they moved it well and created some things."

Mourinho also hailed Rashford, who ran through to score from Michael Carrick's pass in the 75th minute before pouncing on Reading goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi's miskick to net his second goal four minutes later.

"I spoke with him at half-time and told him I don't care about the goals he missed in the first half because he had a big responsibility in the way we were breaking their defensive line," Mourinho said.

 Rooney set to surpass Sir Bobby

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney celebrates opening the scoring in Saturday's 4-0 FA Cup win over Championship side Reading. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters

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