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Ruud van Nistelrooy in action against Charlton.

Goal of the Day: Van Nistelrooy at The Valley

Date: 19 November 2005, The Valley, Premier League
 
Background: There’d been a major disturbance in the force at Manchester United on the eve of this game, with Roy Keane making the shock announcement on the Friday that he had left the club. But with the Reds due at The Valley on Saturday afternoon, to face Alan Curbishley’s well-established Charlton Athletic side, there was no time to mope.
The goal: Though the United firmament burned one star less bright after Keane’s departure, two shining beacons combined to score this game’s winner. With the game poised at 1-1 with 20 minutes left, Wayne Rooney gained possession just inside his own half and proceeded to show the bullish brilliance that made him a thrilling young talent. Barrelling down the left, he evaded or shrugged off Charlton challenges all the way into the box, before flipping a cute ball across goal. There, van Nistelrooy picked up the baton by – in one fluid motion that took him fully through 360 degrees - chesting the cross down, swivelling and firing brilliantly home.
What happened next: Ruud added another goal as the Reds won 3-1, and he topped United’s scoring charts at the end of the season. But while it was the Dutch ace's final campaign at Old Trafford, prior to him joining Real Madrid, the golden age of his strike partner Wayne Rooney was just beginning.
 
Reaction: 
“Rooney and van Nistelrooy were great. Ruud's finish for his first goal was unbelievable”
- Sir Alex Ferguson applauds true class.
 

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