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Rooney answers his critics with superb winner

04-07-2011 16:07 BJT

LONDON - Wayne Rooney let his feet do the talking with a superb first-half goal to give Manchester United a 1-0 first leg win at Chelsea and tip the balance of the Champions League quarter-final their way on Wednesday.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring a goal during the first leg
of their Champions League quarter final soccer match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
in London April 6, 2011.[Photo/Agencies]

Rooney, facing an FA charge for swearing live on TV last Saturday which could see him banned for two domestic matches, steered in a sweetly-struck 24th minute goal off the post after a flowing United build-up.

United dominated the match for long periods with Rooney providing much of their inspiration in midfield and attack to leave Chelsea a huge task of saving the tie in the second leg at Old Trafford next Tuesday.

"Wayne was in tremendous form," United boss Alex Ferguson said in a televised interview. "He's given us a really great opportunity to get to the semi-final.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring a goal during the first
leg of their Champions League quarter final soccer match against Chelsea at Stamford
Bridge in London April 6, 2011.[Photo/Agencies]

"(He was) excellent, absolutely superb. (His) work rate, desire to play is marvellous. He got a lot of abuse tonight, he got a lot of late tackles on him but he got up and played. It shows the courage of the player. He takes great credit."

United defender Rio Ferdinand added: "He's a top quality player. Today, he showed touches of brilliance, some great touches, awareness and a great finish. He was buzzing around all over the pitch today and it was good to see."

With their Premier League title probably heading to Old Trafford and the European Cup their only realistic chance of a trophy this season, Chelsea were flat for long periods, and came closest to a goal when Frank Lampard saw his shot cleared off the line just before halftime by Patrice Evra.


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