Dec 27 2009
Wayne Rooney rescued Manchester United after almost playing the Barclays Premier League champions into trouble during a 3-1 victory at struggling Hull.
Rooney gave United the lead in first-half stoppage time at the KC Stadium but then gifted Hull a route back with the mistake that led to Craig Fagan's penalty equaliser.
The England striker then stepped up a gear to force an own goal from Andy Dawson and then set up a third for strike partner Dimitar Berbatov.
The victory lifted United back above Arsenal into second and within two points of Chelsea.
United started patiently but burst into life after five minutes as Antonio Valencia charged down the right and picked out Giggs with a well-flighted cross but his volley dipped over Boaz Myhill's bar.
Pressure finally paid off as Hull failed to clear a Fletcher cross and Rooney tapped in from close range during two minutes of stoppage time.
United were relieved but Rooney turned villain with a horrendous error just before the hour. Rooney played Kuszczak into trouble with a weak backpass and Fagan nipped in to win the ball.
Fagan's touch took it too wide to shoot but he turned and lofted in a cross for Jozy Altidore, who was bundled over by the backtracking Rafael. Wiley pointed to the spot and Fagan stepped up to coolly slot an equaliser.
Rooney then redeemed himself by forcing the own goal that put United back in front after 73 minutes. Hull were caught as United broke from deep and Giggs put Rooney through and his cross was turned in by Dawson.
There was no way back for Hull and Berbatov finished the job eight minutes from time, although he owed much to Rooney who strolled into the area and picked out Berbatov with a measured ball leaving the Bulgarian with a simple finish.