Football Expert & Columnist
Wayne Rooney has dragged Manchester United up table, says Jamie Carragher
Wayne Rooney has single-handedly dragged Man United back into the title race, says Jamie Carragher.
Last Updated: 11/11/13 8:18am
Rooney was the pick of the players in United's 1-0 win over Premier League leaders Arsenal, setting up Robin van Persie to score the winner against his former club at Old Trafford.
Rooney's 27-minute corner was headed home by Van Persie to give David Moyes a much needed win, closing the gap on the Gunners at the top of the table to just five points.
Sky Sports expert Carragher believes Rooney is the reason United still have a chance of defending their Premier League crown.
He said: "Rooney is the reason why they're only five points behind this season because United have been poor.
"It's not the vintage United we've seen of old and there are a lot of players who haven't performed, but he's the one who's dragged Man United up there, virtually single-handedly at times."
Rooney's work-rate was impressive and the England forward was the catalyst in a well-oiled United performance and his endurance impressed Carragher.
"You look at the technical players in the opposition - Ozil and Ramsey - but Rooney brings that power and endurance, he's a typical Premier League player and that's why he is one of the top players in our league and with Manchester United.
"We've spoken a lot this season about partnerships and top strikers but I think United have got some of the best strikers in European football and Rooney's right up there with the best of them. His performance today with some of the players on show - he was the best player by a mile.
Most talk this season has been about the striking partnerships at Liverpool (Sturridge and Suarez), or Manchester City (Negredo and Aguero), but Carragher touted United's top two of Rooney and Van Persie as being just as good.
"I thought Rooney and Van Persie were brilliant as a partnership today," added Carragher.
"Arsene Wenger said before the game that he 'still sees Van Persie as an Arsenal player.' I just think maybe Robin heard that and by looking at his reaction when he scored, compared to last season where he was a lot more respectful; I think he showed today he's a real Manchester United player and this is the club that he's at.
"Last year Van Persie was the standout player in the league. Rooney had his problems and was in and out the team. Van Persie's got the goal and we've mentioned all season about striking partnership and United's is as good as any."