• Premier League

'Of course it is!' Rooney declares halfway goal better than Beckham's

ESPN staff
March 22, 2014
Wayne Rooney opened the scoring from just inside West Ham's half © Getty Images

Wayne Rooney has light-heartedly bragged that his spectacular halfway line strike in Manchester United's 2-0 win against West Ham was even better than David Beckham's famous effort for the club.

In front of a watching Beckham at Upton Park, Rooney opened the scoring for United in the eighth minute from 58 yards after spotting West Ham goalkeeper Adrian off his line.

It was from an almost identical spot where the former England captain struck in August 1996 with a long-range shot that looped over Neil Sullivan in the Wimbledon goal at Selhurst Park.

Asked if his effort topped Beckham's, Rooney told Sky Sports: "Of course!"

Moyes: We're building momentum

  • David Moyes believes Manchester United will go into their derby clash with Manchester City on Tuesday full of confidence after following up their home home drubbing by Liverpool with back-to-back wins.
  • The United manager made several changes at Upton Park from the victory over Olympiakos, and singled out the performances of Shinji Kagawa and Juan Mata.
  • "You want to get a bit of momentum which we've not had an awful lot of, and hopefully we can go into this game [against City] a bit more confident," said Moyes.
  • "Juan was terrific today, and Shinji was excellent. We had some really top performances, we want to keep that going and build on it.
  • "Earlier in the season people were saying you're changing the team too much, but what I was trying to do was to give everybody the opportunity to show what they were capable of. It didn't quite happen as often as we'd like, but the people who came into the team played really well today. The midweek result gave us a lot of confidence. The way the team passed it backed that up.
  • "Being an old centre-half, Michael Carrick made the job look that easy today. He was terrific. West Ham had opportunities, they were a handful. Between him and Marouane Fellaini, I felt they dealt manfully with Andy Carroll today."

Comparing it to his overhead kick against Manchester City at Old Trafford in February 2011 and his volley against Newcastle at home in April 2005, Rooney added: "It's up there. I wouldn't say it's my favourite.

"All those goals, you try them in training, you try them in games and not often do they come off. When they do it's great for me and the team.

"It's just instinct. I've turned, I've had a quick look and I've seen the goalkeeper off his line. It's one I've tried many times and thankfully today it's gone in."

United manager David Moyes also appeared to concur with his striker. He told Sky Sports after the match: "I think there's two arguments to it [whose is better], how clean David Beckham's struck the ball, how sweet.

"But Wayne's technique to take it on the volley and getting enough power to cover that distance as well… It was a great goal.

"We were having a laugh in the dressing room, saying that Wayne's tried that 20 times and it's never worked. But it came off today and it was a brilliant goal, the awareness to know exactly where the goalkeeper is as well.

"It was a wonder goal. I knew it was going to bounce and I thought, 'Is this going to go under the bar or over the bar?' I wasn't sure how it was going to be.

"Thankfully there was a bit of rain before the game, that might have softened it down a little bit. But it was a brilliant goal, great technique, a player who's capable of doing all those sort of things on a football pitch."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close