Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has had some major ups and downs in recent months, but today he orchestrated one of his biggest moments on the pitch, scoring one of the more impressive goals in recent memory.
Rooney broke a deadlocked Manchester Derby in the 78th minute with an unbelievable bicycle kick to finish a cross from Nani. The strike gave the Red Devils a 2-1 lead that they would hold till the end of the match.
In the lead-up to the goal, Rooney had received a pass from fellow forward Dimitar Berbatov, but played a poor ball back to him that ended up on Paul Scholes' foot. Scholes placed a sharp pass across to Nani a few feet outside the penalty area, and Nani sent a nice crossing ball toward Rooney.
Vincent Kompany, the Manchester City center back who had bottled Rooney up over the first 77 minutes of the match, anticipated the flight of the cross and broke towards goal. That gave Rooney enough space to position himself to go airborne, and Kompany was unable to get back in time to disrupt Rooney's attempt.
Rooney squared the ball off his shin, and the rest was magic at Old Trafford.
City goalkeeper Joe Hart had no hope of keeping the ball out of the back of the net, and Wayne Rooney had completed an unbelievable finish.
The wonder-goal comes a week after United lost their first English Premier League game, to lowly Wolverhampton. They desperately needed to right the ship to hold off Manchester City for the top spot in the EPL, and today's dramatic win over their intercity rivals all but seals United's title.
Rooney has had a down year in the Premier League after barnstorming England's top league a year ago. He was even rumored to be looking to get away from Old Trafford after not receiving a contract extension, and rumors emerged that he might go across town and play for United's bitter rivals at City.
Today, Rooney still wore red, and he no doubt made Manchester City supporters SEE red with his otherworldly finish.