MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Wayne Rooney scored his 200th Premier League goal in Everton’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Monday and gave another display which showed his career is far from over.
Rooney’s 35th minute goal looked to have earned Everton a surprise victory at the Etihad Stadium before substitute Raheem Sterling volleyed in an 82nd minute equalizer.
Although he did not end as the match-winning hero, Rooney was able to savor the moment he became just the second player to reach 200 Premier League goals.
Former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer, who ended his career with 260 goals, welcomed Rooney to the exclusive club by tweeting: “It’s been lonely in this @premierleague 200 club. Welcome and congratulations @WayneRooney”.
“It was nice. To do it today in such an important game for us, with tough games coming up, it was a sweet moment and I am sure the red half of Manchester will have enjoyed it as well,” said Rooney who scored 183 of his goals in the red shirt of United.
Rooney’s move last month back to the club he has supported since his youth and where he made his professional debut, was questioned by some critics who wondered whether he might have run out of steam.
But the 31-year-old, who scored on his home debut against Stoke City last week, gave another display of clever passing and positioning as well as his trademark finishing.
“It is not bad for someone who is not fit anymore and can’t get about the pitch! I have always put a shift in for the team and tonight is no different,” he said.
“The manager has made it clear he wants to play me in the attacking positions. I have done that throughout my career and the thing for me is to play. I didn’t play as much last year and if you don’t play you don’t get that match fitness,” he said.
Rooney’s revival in blue has raised the issue of whether he could earn a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of next month’s internationals.
“I am focusing on Everton. I am sure I will speak to Gareth Southgate over the next few days and we will see what happens,” said the forward.
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar