England striker Wayne Rooney joins an elite group of Manchester United marksmen
Wayne Rooney scored a brace to chalk up his 200th goal for Manchester United as the Premier League champions got their European campaign off to a flying start against Bayer Leverkusen.
Making his 73rd Champions League appearance, the England striker took his tally in Europe’s elite competition to 29 as David Moyes' side registered a 4-2 win at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, he joined Sir Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law and Jack Rowley as only the fourth man to reach a double-century of goals for United.
The home side lined up against the Bundesliga outfit, managed by former Liverpool skipper Sami Hyypia, with three current England internationals in their midst, as well as former captain Rio Ferdinand.
Chris Smalling made his first start of the season at right-back, and Michael Carrick played in the centre of midfield alongside Champions League debutant Marouane Fellaini.
There was also a first European outing of the season for England’s Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley, who replaced Shinji Kagawa and Fellaini in the second half.
Rooney opened the scoring on 22 minutes as he latched on to a Patrice Evra cross, calmly volleying home from close range past Bernd Leno in the Leverkusen goal.
His 200th may have come earlier in the evening than it eventually did, as he pounced on a slip from Ömer Toprak in the 52ndminute, rounded the keeper, only to fire across the goal from an acute angle.
Simon Rolfes equalised for the visitors moments after Rooney’s miss, but Hyypia's men were not level for long, as Robin van Persie made it 2-1 nine minutes later.
Then it was the turn of Rooney to secure the headlines, as he scored his landmark goal with a neat left-foot finish, beating Leno at his near post after a mix-up in the Leverkusen defence.
Rooney was substituted to a standing ovation on 84 minutes, but the Three Lions man had time to add an assist to his evening’s work before being taken off, playing in Antonio Valencia who fired home first time to put the result beyond doubt 79 minutes.
Toprak pulled a goal back for the visitors on 88 minutes, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal as the Red Devils saw the game out for what in the end was a comfortable victory.
Elsewhere in Europe, England number one Joe Hart kept a clean sheet in the Czech Republic, as Manchester City ran out 3-0 victors against Viktoria Plzeň.