Wednesday 13 December 2017

Wayne Rooney: We owe the fans a derby win

Captain wants victory after last four straight defeats to City

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney wants to put a smile back on the faces of Manchester United fans by claiming victory in Sunday's derby against City at Old Trafford.

Rooney has enjoyed a good record against Manchester City since he joined United in 2004.

The 29-year-old is the leading United scorer in derby history with 11 goals, the most famous of which came in 2011 when he scored an acrobatic late winner in a 2-1 victory for United at Old Trafford.

He has had to get used to being on the losing side in recent years, though.

United have lost their last four meetings against their biggest rivals, but Rooney is determined to put an end to that sequence this weekend.

"You play for Man United, you want to win these derby games," the United captain said.

"We want to give United fans something to smile about when they go to work on Monday morning, we want them to be the ones to be able to give out the banter to Manchester City fans at work.

"I think it's a very important game for Manchester United and Manchester City... for the fans and, for me, it's a massive game of pride."

As well as pride, Rooney knows victory would put United four points clear of City, who dropped to fourth in the table following a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday.



Rooney scored a stunning volley in last week's 3-1 win over Aston Villa and is certain to start against City on Sunday.

Louis van Gaal has the option of welcoming back Robin van Persie after he returned to training following an ankle injury.

But the United boss is more likely to stick with a front three of Rooney, Juan Mata and Ashley Young, who have served him so well in Van Persie's absence.

Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero insists Manchester City can still win the Premier League title - and the Argentine striker can't wait to silence Old Trafford on Sunday.

Manuel Pellegrini's champions must pick up maximum points against United to keep alive their fading hopes of catching Chelsea.

And Aguero - who's last gasp goal against QPR secured the title for City in 2012 - is convinced a similar rescue act could be on again this season.

"Of course we can still win it," he said. "In football, anything can happen. As soon as you think something is certain then everything changes.

"We have seen it so many times before and we'll see it again.

"We only focus on ourselves, try to win every game we play and keep pressure on Chelsea."

Aguero has scored four in his last four games against United - including the winner when the sides met at the Etihad in November.

He says few things can compare to the feeling of scoring at Old Trafford.

"I always love to score, but of course it is even more special to score in the big games," he said.

"If you score against United at Old Trafford it almost give you shivers, because you can feel the tense atmosphere with most of the stadium being really quiet, but the away end going crazy."

Aguero added: "They are a team with a lot of great individual players, who can form an incredible unit when they work well together.

"But this season that has not always been the case. Some matches they don't seem to play at the maximum, with the attacking qualities that they have in the team.

"But then in other games, they have really shown that those qualities, so they are a bit unpredictable. We know we will have to be at our very best to beat them."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News