Ronaldo upstages Rooney

Carroll struck by missile as Everton's blue day gets worse
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The Independent Online

It was all about a young man with prodigious talent, but it was not Wayne Rooney, the returning former favourite, who made the difference in this FA Cup fifth-round tie but Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese winger laid on the first goal for Quinton Fortune and tapped in the second as Rooney's new club, Manchester United, beat his old one, Everton, 2-0 on the England striker's return to Goodison Park.

It was all about a young man with prodigious talent, but it was not Wayne Rooney, the returning former favourite, who made the difference in this FA Cup fifth-round tie but Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese winger laid on the first goal for Quinton Fortune and tapped in the second as Rooney's new club, Manchester United, beat his old one, Everton, 2-0 on the England striker's return to Goodison Park.

Judas Rooney, as he is now known to unforgiving Evertonians, played well enough back at his old stamping ground under a barrage of boos, but it was the trickery and flowing flourishes of Ronaldo that lifted United above the home side on a difficult playing surface. He ghosted down the right to cross for Fortune to head United in front midway through the first half and he was the first to the rebound after Nigel Martyn could only parry Paul Scholes's deflected free-kick.

Rooney was the centre of attention from all around the ground and drew close personal attention from Joseph Yobo on the pitch. On the one occasion, in the last minute, that he broke free of the shackles he drew yet another fine save from Martyn.

The fear was that Rooney's temperament might crack in a hostile atmosphere, but he kept his cool, which is more than could be said for a few of the rowdier home fans. United's goalkeeper, Roy Carrooll, was hit on the head during the second half by an object, possibly a coin, that was thrown from behind the goal. Police reported a mobile thrown was among various missiles that were picked up from around the pitch.

The Football Association might be busy investigating that trouble and will have to take a look at yet another controversial collision between Arsenal and Sheffield United. In a 1-1 draw at Highbury, that left Arsenal with an unwanted replay, the source of dispute this time was not one side refusing to return the ball from a throw after a player was injured, or the referee setting up a scoring counterattack. It was, instead, the sort of mêlée, leading to a red card, that often blighted Arsenal matches in the bad old days before Arsène Wenger laid down the law and imposed order.

Dennis Bergkamp was the recipient of the red card nine minutes before half-time - Arsenal's 57th dismissal under Wenger was their first in domestic competition for a year - after he became involved in a pushing match following a challenge by Danny Cullip on Cesc Fabregas left the Arsenal man needing treatment.

But there remains the matter of whose gloved Arsenal hand contributed a cuff around the head during the chaos. The woolly finger has been pointed at Jose Antonio Reyes, who could face FA action.

By contrast, another London club, Brentford, would have welcomed their 2-2 draw and the chance of a replay after the League One side fell 2-0 behind in the 36th minute at Southampton. Henri Camara was presented with two simple finishes, but Isaiah Rankin pulled one back before half-time and Sam Sodje headed the goal that meant the clubs must meet again.

Leicester City, of the Championship, completed an upset by winning 2-1 away to Charlton Athletic courtesy of Dion Dublin's last-minute strike, and another London side, Fulham, went out, beaten at Bolton Wanderers where Kevin Davies scored the only goal.

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