Rooney's Hatter Leads Red Devils to Champions League
For the moment, anyway, Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney has dispelled the dark clouds of doubt about whether or not he still has it.
Completing their clobbering of Belgium's Club Brugge by a second-leg result of 0-4 -- making for a 1-7 in aggregate -- Rooney racked up a hat-trick as the Red Devils rejoined the Champions League.
Rooney got on the board with a touch of class.
You go down and I go up, says the captain.
One goal against an opponent like Brugge wouldn't really silence the critics, but the second provided a bit of gravitas:
Nice instep. He owes a round or two to Ander Herrera for an absolutely brilliant set-up.
And what could be better than two instant goals? A hatter, of course:
Damn. With that sort of service, Rooney had better be scoring.
United then experienced first-hand just what a world-class field general Bastian Schweinsteiger is:
The game could've been much worse if this attempt had found its mark:
And the reaction from Luis van Gaal all but said that's why we let Rooney take those:
Then, there was this:
Maybe that will make you feel you're not alone the next time you miss a gimme putt.
But those chances were gravy, anyway. Champions League, here come the Red Devils of Manchester.