Wayne Rooney described his winner in Saturday’s Manchester derby as the best goal he’s ever scored.
With 78 minutes on the clock and the score locked at 1-1, Rooney launched himself into the air and acrobatically volleyed Nani’s cross into the top corner of the net.
Afterwards, Rooney was remarkably matter-of-fact about the goal when talking to the TV cameras, although he did concede he’d never scored a better one.
“Yeah, I think that’s my best one," he said. "I just tried to get into a good position for when Nani crossed the ball. I saw it come into the box and I thought, ‘Why not?’. So I tried it [an overhead kick] and thankfully it went into the top corner.
“Nine times out of 10 they go over the crossbar or wide, but thankfully today it went into the top corner. It’s instinctive. You don’t have time to think about what you’re going to do.”
Replays of Rooney’s strike will be broadcast around the world for weeks. Even Wayne seemed a little taken aback by its brilliance as he struggled to find the words to describe how he felt when it hit the back of the net.
“It’s indescribable,” he said. “When City equalised they started moving the ball a bit and making life difficult for us. But we knew it was important to keep going and try and win the game.
“When I scored the goal, I could see the joy in the crowd, the joy among the players, the manager, the players and all the staff. It was a fantastic moment.”
Rooney’s joy was as much for the team as it was for himself, though. After losing at Wolves last weekend, it was essential the Reds bounced back to winning ways.
“It was a massive game and we’re glad we came out on top,” Rooney said. “We knew we had to win today to keep us top of the league and maintain the gap [ahead of Arsenal and City].
“I think this almost certainly rules City out of the title race now, unless a disaster happens.