A stellar performance from Wayne Rooney paved the way for Manchester United FC to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds with a matchday to spare, their 5-0 Group A victory at Bayer 04 Leverkusen coming courtesy of five different scorers.
Before tonight, Leverkusen had won eight consecutive home games in the group stage but, after a cagey opening at the BayArena, Antonio Valencia was on hand to tap in a Rooney centre. Rooney's fine free-kick was then headed into his own net by the unlucky Emir Spahić before, in the second half, Jonny Evans made it three from a Rooney rebound and the talismanic forward set up Chris Smalling's fourth. Nani completed the scoring late on.
The Red Devils move three points clear in the section while Bayer – who drop from second to third – visit Real Sociedad de Fútbol on 10 December knowing they must better FC Shakhtar Donetsk's result in Manchester to go through.
It was a tough evening for us. The second goal sapped our morale a bit although we started the game well. After the third goal the game was over.
Simon Rolfes, Leverkusen midfielder
We really killed them on the counterattack. In the second half we could have scored more but to score five goals anywhere in Europe is brilliant.
Ryan Giggs, Manchester United midfielder
|1||Leno (GK)||1||De Gea (GK)|
|36||Lomb (GK)||13||Lindegaard (GK)|
|Sami Hyypiä (FIN)||David Moyes (SCO)|
|Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)|