Manchester United vs Feyenoord: Wayne Rooney says he 'did not step foot' in wedding after drinking controversy

The England striker "unreservedly" apologised after he was pictured drinking at a wedding reception during the recent international break

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The Independent Online

After producing his best performance of the season, Wayne Rooney said the furore surrounding his drinking had nothing to do with his motivation to prove his critics wrong.

The England captain scored the opening goal in Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat of Feyenoord in the Europa League and made the second for Juan Mata. His opener meant he overtook Ruud van Nistelrooy as Manchester United’s leading goalscorer in European football.

“It is a great feeling to score goals for this club and there are plenty more to come,” he said to BT Sport.

“All that is created by people like yourself asking questions about the (wedding) incident. It’s people in the media making a big deal over nothing. I actually did not set foot in that wedding and I think it’s a shame I am having to talk about it after such a great victory.”

The victory over Feyenoord means that Manchester United need merely to avoid defeat in their final group game, away to Zorya Luhansk, to qualify for the knockout phases of the Europa League.

The United manager, Jose Mourinho, remarked that after overtaking Van Nistelrooy’s record, Rooney’s task should be to help his club win the competition. They are the bookmaker's favourites to do so.

“Rooney’s is a remarkable achievement obviously it would be even better if he could help the club to win the one competition it has never won - the Europa League,” said Mourinho, whose first European trophy was the Uefa Cup with Porto 13 years ago. 

“It is not the biggest competition and there are a lot of games, but it is one we want to win. Let us qualify and let us try to win it.”

One of the highlights of the night was the appearance of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who had disappeared without trace since his £27m transfer from Borussia Dortmund. His last start at Old Trafford, in the Manchester derby, had seen him substituted at half time. This was vastly better.

“He now needs to replicate this kind of performance in the Premier League,” said Mourinho. “This is one more step and it gives him the right to believe he can play in the next match. He needs to play with more physicality and more aggression but he has the quality and that is why we bought him.”

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