Rooney's sublime volley rockets United to a revitalising victory

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The Independent Football

An injured Wayne Rooney scored a stunning second-half volley to spark a Manchester United comeback at Old Trafford yesterday as Sir Alex Ferguson's side beat Newcastle United 2-1 to put their poor recent League form behind them.

An injured Wayne Rooney scored a stunning second-half volley to spark a Manchester United comeback at Old Trafford yesterday as Sir Alex Ferguson's side beat Newcastle United 2-1 to put their poor recent League form behind them.

Newcastle's sorry season went from bad to worse after Darren Ambrose had given them an unexpected lead only for Rooney, the first United player to reach double figures in goals this season in the League, and Wes Brown to score for the home side.

"It took a fantastic goal from Wayne Rooney to change the game," Ferguson said of the swerving long-range volley. "I was ready to take him off, because he had picked up an injury [a dead leg] in the first half. It was phenomenal, considering he was injured. I don't know how far out he was - he looked as if he was 30 yards."

Ferguson said that he was pleased to get back to winning ways after two defeats and a draw in United's last three League matches.

"A win is a win when you are having a rough spell. That was the nature of this game - win the match and let us go on from there," he said. "We got affected by the Newcastle goal. There was a bit of slackness, and it jolted us.

"When you are going through these bad spells it can affect you, but in the second half they got the bit between their teeth. I told the players at half-time, 'We have got to get used to these hot days'. The winter has gone and it got a bit sticky - this is a period when you have to get over lethargy - it was maybe a lethargic performance today."

Ferguson was also critical of the referee Neale Barry. "We should have had a clear penalty today - it seems to me now that we are not going to get penalties no matter what the circumstances. It's getting ridiculous. I'm not sure if they're instructed but it's sinister to me."

Newcastle have now lost five consecutive games, but their manager Graeme Souness remained optimistic. "The last 10 days have been difficult for us," he said. "Two weeks ago everything in the garden was rosy. Since then we have been mentally and physically bashed up.

"But no-one here thinks our season is over. We are going places next year and I am looking to see who wants to be on the bus with us."

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