Wayne Rooney in focus following Manchester United reunion

Wayne Rooney suffered an unhappy reunion with former club Manchester United as Derby lost 3-0 to the Red Devils in the FA Cup.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how the ex-England captain fared at Pride Park on Thursday.


United’s 253-goal record scorer was given a warm welcome by the visiting fans, who chanted his name before kick-off and during the game.

There was no extra fanfare for Rooney, who was facing United for the first time since returning to England from DC United last year.

One thundering early tackle on Scott McTominay earned him rapturous applause from the home supporters.

Goal threat

Rooney started in his regular midfield role but threatened United inside the first 20 minutes when his free-kick was turned wide by Sergio Romero.

The goalkeeper produced an even better stop to tip over another Rooney free-kick in second-half stoppage time.

The 34-year-old rarely ventured forward until the latter stages, when Derby chased a consolation, and he sent an effort wide of the target.

Defensive work

Wayne Rooney played as a defensive midfielder
Wayne Rooney played as a defensive midfielder

Playing as a defensive midfielder, Rooney tried to shield the Rams’ back line but was powerless to stop United going into the break 2-0 up.

One tackle presented Odion Ighalo with a first-half opening, while a foul on Fred stopped a quick United break.

He also stood little chance to prevent Ighalo’s second, which ended the contest.


#MUFC past and present ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/HiVwkCIVKf

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 5, 2020

Rooney acted as Derby’s quarter-back with his passing ability able to unlock space.

His sweeping pass started a move which saw Martyn Waghorn glance inches wide just after the break.

He played his team-mates into trouble once or twice but was generally sound.


Rooney was embraced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at full-time
Rooney was embraced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at full-time

Rooney spent 13 years at Old Trafford, winning every domestic honour plus the Europa League and Champions League, but there were no split loyalties on Thursday.

He was committed, but the night was evidence of his waning powers – powers which propelled him to stardom with United.