Wayne Rooney scored his 250th goal for Manchester United in some style as his last-gap free-kick rescued a 1-1 draw at Stoke City.
United looked to have been heading for a first defeat in 17 games after Juan Mata’s own goal in the first half, before Rooney came off the bench to score a beauty of a free-kick past the otherwise excellent Lee Grant.
It was a difficult afternoon for the Red Devils, with Mata deflecting in a shot from Erik Pieters in the 19th minute to threaten United’s long recent unbeaten run.
The Spaniard’s rotten afternoon continued as he then missed a close-range sitter after being found free in the box after good work on the left-hand side from Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
It wasn’t a vintage display from United, though they took control of the game better in the second half and had two decent shouts for a penalty turned down.
First, Mata was brought down inside the box, and later substitute Marcus Rashford saw an even stronger appeal waved away after a neat one-two with Ibrahimovic to give him a clear run at goal and little incentive to dive.
In the end, United didn’t need the opportunity from twelve yards as Rooney curled home a stunning effort from a tight angle outside the box, which secured a piece of history for him as he overtook Bobby Charlton as the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
Despite not being a regular for United this season, the England captain more than showed his worth here with a moment of real quality when it mattered, whilst also ensuring once and for all that he’ll go down as one of United’s best-ever players.