Wayne Rooney was delighted with his double as he joined Manchester United’s exclusive 200 club as they saw off Bayer Leverkusen with a 4-2 victory in their opening Champions League clash.
The 27-year-old striker, again wearing a protective headband, added to his goal in Saturday’s Premier League win over Crystal Palace to score in each half in this Group A match at Old Trafford.
“I’m really proud, to first of all to be playing and to score and it’s a good result,” said Rooney.
“Obviously the first game in the Champions League is always important and thankfully we got the victory.”
Rooney put United ahead midway through the first half with a first-time effort from Patrice Evra’s cross.
Still, it did not look like being a particularly memorable night for the England forward when an inexplicable failure to either tap into an empty net or provide an opportunity for Robin van Persie to do so after he had skipped round Bernd Leno was followed within a minute by Simon Rolfes’ equaliser.
However, Van Persie soon restored United’s advantage before Rooney entered the history books as he seized on the loose ball after Emir Spahic had got his head to David de Gea’s long punt downfield and finished with ease.
It was a landmark effort that meant Rooney emulated Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Jack Rowley in reaching 200 United goals.
Asked whether he should have scored a hat-trick, Rooney added: “I don’t know to be honest, I was in two minds whether to shoot and Robin was there as well...maybe I should have gone straight for goal but at the end of the day we got the three points.
“It’s a big learning curve for the manager and a it’s the first game in the Champions League proper and tonight we didn’t give away many chances but they still managed to score two goals.”