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Rooney Scores For First Time Since January As United Beat Burnley

Rooney Manchester United

Wayne Rooney scored his first goal since January as Manchester United kept up the chase for the top four in the Premier League with victory at Burnley.

Rooney’s second league start of the year was one of eight changes made by United manager Jose Mourinho after Thursday’s Europa League win over Anderlecht.

The England captain started the impressive counter-attack which led to Anthony Martial’s opener, and squeezed the ball home from a tight angle to double United’s lead before half-time.

Andre Gray had Burnley’s best chance of the first half when his shot was blocked by defender Eric Bailly, but Sean Dyche’s side failed to register a shot on target.

It means United remain fifth in the league but are only a point off rivals Manchester City, whom they face on Thursday at Etihad Stadium.

Burnley have now won only once in 11 matches and are five points off the relegation zone in 15th.

The goal which cost Man United £8.5m

After season-ending injuries to striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and defender Marcos Rojo, Mourinho was forced to shuffle his pack again.

And, with one eye on the Manchester derby, he left Thursday’s hero Marcus Rashford on the bench.

Martial returned to the attack alongside Rooney and Jesse Lingard and played a part in both first-half goals.

The Frenchman sprinted forward after being sent on his way by Rooney, and after a delicate lay-off from Ander Herrera, Martial swept the ball past Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal.

It was Martial’s 25th goal for the club and a clause in his contract, which he signed last year, means United will now have to pay an extra £8.5m to his former team Monaco.

Rooney makes it 251

Rooney became Manchester United’s all-time record goalscorer in January against Stoke but has been made to wait three months for goal number 251.

He completed a full 90 minutes of league action at Turf Moor for the first time since September and enjoyed a productive partnership with Martial.

Having played a part in United’s opener, Rooney scuffed home the second goal of the match from a few yards out after Martial’s shot was well blocked by Heaton.

It crept over the line, and goal-line technology confirmed it was legitimate, although it may have taken a slight deflection off the leg of Burnley defender Michael Keane. [BBC]

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