FOOTBALL IS the beautiful game because every so often comes a magical moment that transcends sport and paints an unforgetable memory that will last forever.

Wayne Rooney delivered one of those indelible moments in time this afternoon with one of the greatest goals he will ever score.

With just 12 minutes remaining and the Manchester derby in the balance at 1-1, the Theatre of Dreams, so often the stage for something extra special, witnessed yet another breathtaking act of genious.

Nani’s cross from the right flank was high and behind Rooney as he lurked near the penalty spot. But he elevated an indifferent personal display to the heights by readjusting his position and sending an acrobatic, unstoppable overhead kick high past Joe Hart.

No goalkeeper on earth could have saved a goal with the technique of the legendary Denis Law and the power of a Bobby Charlton special. It was the defining act of a game brought to life by a peach of an opening goal from Nani, who showed style and poise to finish with quality when he was cut loose by Ryan Giggs.

David Silva scored a fortunate leveller he knew little about when he unwittingly deflected home substitute Edin Dzeko’s shot off his back. But City’s momentum was stopped in its tracks by Wayne’s wonder goal  that extends the Blues’ dismal sequence of only one league win in their last 27 visits to Old Trafford.

If Rooney’s Old Trafford love affair was strained by the saga of his demand to leave earlier this season, this was the moment the bond was rekindled. It was a goal worthy of winning any game and if United go on to win their record-breaking 19th title, Sir Alex Ferguson may look back on it as the pivotal strike in the race for the Premier League after bouncing back from their first defeat of the season at Wolves.


12 February 2011:
Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City
Goalscorers: Nani 41 , Rooney 78; Silva 65