Rooney hails derby bicycle kick winner as best goal of his career
Published 15:15 12/02/11 By MirrorFootball
Wayne Rooney savoured the sensational overhead kick that settled the Manchester derby and hailed it as the best goal of his professional career.
Rooney struck in the 77th minute after David Silva's fortunate equaliser had cancelled out Nani's first-half opener for United.
It was a goal fit to win any game and the England striker said it had been an instinctive finish from Nani's cross.
"I think so," Rooney told Sky Sports 1 when asked if it was the best goal of his career.
"I saw it come into the box and thought 'why not?' Thankfully it finished up in the top corner.
"I was trying to get in a good position for when Nani crossed it. Nine time out of 10 they go over the crossbar. Today it ended up in the top corner.
"It is instinct. You don't have time to think about it."
Asked when he had last scored with an overhead kick, Rooney replied: "In school I think. It's the first one since I started playing professionally."
Rooney's strike ensured United bounced back after losing their unbeaten record to Wolves the week before.
"It is important for the league after dropping three points last week," he added.
"It is also a big game for the whole city. City have been closer to us this year and I thought it was a close game. We just created better chances and deserved to win.
"It is three points, we're top of the league and we're grateful for that.
"I wasn't too pleased with my overall performance today but I got a chance and thankfully managed to take it."
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Rooney's winner as the best goal he had seen at Old Trafford.
"It was stunning," he said.
"[Nani's opener] was an unbelievable goal, but nobody in their right sense will even talk about it.
"All the talk will be about that winning goal - unbelievable."
Asked if he had seen a better goal at the ground, Ferguson replied: "No.
"Rooney hit a volley against Newcastle some years ago and it was that ferocity... We've had some fantastic goals here but in terms of execution... you'll never see that."
Ferguson now wants Rooney and strike partner Dimitar Berbatov to start producing on the road.
"I have to say that what I need to get out of Wayne and Berbatov is performances away from home," the Scot added on Sky Sports 2. "They've not been as good as they have been at home.
"That's a quandary because, the ability those two have, they really should be dictating games for us. When they do, it'll make a hell of a difference to Manchester United."
The Red Devils' victory moved them eight points ahead of Roberto Mancini's side, but Ferguson does not believe United can write their local rivals off.
Asked if this marked the end of City's title challenge, he replied: "No. They're in the top four. They've got a big, strong squad. They'll win more games than you think."
City boss Mancini, asked if Rooney's goal had been pure genius, replied: "Yes. Only a fantastic goal can decide this game.
"A fair result was a draw. We played very well and I'm proud of my players.
"I thought we could win this game. After 1-1 I thought we had a chance to win. But it was a fantastic goal that Rooney scored and it changed this game."
Mancini conceded the eight-point gap was too great to be closed.
"Yes, it is very diffuclt (to catch United) but I think we should continue," the Italian said on Sky Sports 2. "Like today, when we lost a game that we don't deserve to lose, I think we can win a game that we don't deserve to win."