Wayne Rooney has praised attacking partner Javier Hernandez after the pair put on a show at Shalke in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Rooney created one goal and scored the other as United took a handy 2-0 aggregate into the home leg of their semi-final tie, but it was ‘Chicharito’ who nearly stole the show in the first half with some terrific one-on-one battles with Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
The Mexico international has proved adept at finding the net in his debut season at Old Trafford, scoring 19 goals in 41 appearances across all competitions.
His start at the Veltins Arena in place of Dimitar Berbatov meant Rooney could work deeper in attack, and the England international seemed to relish the role with a series of plundering attacks on Schalke’s startled defence.
Rooney, who has previously described Hernandez as the ‘buy of the century’, said he was optimistic of scoring once he knew he would be partnering the 22-year-old.
“I’ve obviously understood and seen the way Chicharito plays, I knew if I was playing in front of him then I’d have a chance and you know, and maybe play a bit deeper and it’s worked for us,” Rooney said.
“He’s been a fantastic signing and scored lots of goals, important goals as well. I’m enjoying getting on the ball and I can play and I’m getting a few goals.”
United’s dominant performance drew praise from veteran Schalke striker Raul, a legend of the game who Hernandez has drawn comparisons to.
“We’ve played against Manchester United, undoubtedly a good team, experienced and with a superb mentality, and they’ve proven in the game how good they are,” the former Real Madrid star said.
“They have been better and I congratulate them for the result. The next week we will try to give a better performance at Old Trafford and do our best.”
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