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03/06/2013 07:34

Papers: Rooney's cracker

Jason Burt writes in The Telegraph...

Rooney’s brilliance injects fresh optimism
Sometimes football defies logic; it certainly defies statistics. It can even defy what previously had taken place. Dominance is inverted by a flash of brilliance. Roy Hodgson reeled off his host of stats on the eve of this encounter to defend his England team from criticism. But here is one from Sunday night’s game: Wayne Rooney touched the ball once in the opening 14 minutes. His first involvement at the re-opening of the Maracana, this most evocative of stadiums, was inauspicious also – he mis-controlled allowing Thiago Silva to steal away possession. Not a moment to remember. It seemed to sum up his season; his fall from pre-eminence. It appeared ominous, depressing, foreboding. And here is another. Having been out-played for long tracts of this match, having appeared short of confidence, in a downward spiral, Rooney then scored a world-class goal to ignite this venue. Sunday night’s goal was a reminder of what remains possible. It was almost like that first goal he scored, as he burst on the scene as a 16-year-old at Everton, beating Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman from a similar distance and with such chutzpah.

Of course, almost all of today’s papers are filled with reaction to England’s 2-2 draw with Brazil, with many attributing several column inches to praise Rooney following his wonder goal. Of the many tributes, The Guardian’s Sachin Nakrani says Wayne’s “curled finish on 79 minutes was a fitting reward for an industrious and intelligent display”, while the Daily Mail’s David Kent says the United striker outperformed opposite number Neymar.

Elsewhere, in The Mirror, ex-Red Ruud van Nistelrooy claims his old Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini will “change the culture” and “build something” at Manchester City.

More: Rooney nets in BrazilRuud grateful for fan reaction | Gallery: United v Real Madrid

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