Wayne Rooney was in no mood to celebrate moving closer to a goal-scoring milestone with a double blast in the 3-3 draw at Newcastle United on Tuesday, the striker instead admitting he was frustrated his side had failed to secure the win.
“After going 2-0 up we were in control of the game and then we let them back into it,” Rooney told Manchester United TV after he moved to within eight goals of Bobby Charlton’s all-time record tally for the club.
“To then get our third goal and concede again was disappointing from us,” he added of Paul Dummett’s last minute equaliser for the home team in the Premier League encounter.
“I think they were silly goals to concede on our behalf and they were avoidable. They have cost us two points so we’re disappointed… you can score as many goals as you want but if you keep conceding goals then it’s a problem.”
Rooney has responded well to criticism of his below-par performances earlier this season and was back to his best at relegation-threatened Newcastle, also laying on United’s second goal for Jesse Lingard with some clever approach play.
As well as the assist, Rooney scored with a penalty and a venomous long-range effort to take his tally to 241 goals in 505 appearances for the club, eight adrift of Charlton, who netted 249 times in 758 matches.
Manager Louis van Gaal has consistently defended his captain and was clearly irked by a question about the 30-year-old striker during a post-match news conference.
“We don’t speak any more about Wayne Rooney, you have criticised him, I didn’t,” said a stony-faced Van Gaal as he got up from his chair and brought proceedings to an abrupt end.
The England captain became the second highest Premier League goal-scorer of all-time when he was on target against Swansea City earlier this month and is now 70 goals behind Alan Shearer’s record haul of 260.
Then he ended a run of 553 minutes without a goal for his club by deftly flicking in a cross to secure a 2-1 triumph against Swansea that halted a sequence of six league games without a victory for Van Gaal’s side.
The United striker also became England’s record scorer when he grabbed his 50th international goal in a 2-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Switzerland in September. He scored his 51st in a friendly against France in November.