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Wayne Rooney's Hat Trick Is the Latest Twist in an Unforgettable Season

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates his hat trick during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground on April 2, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Andrew JordanSenior Writer IApril 2, 2011

Throughout the last year, Wayne Rooney has been part of what will probably be remembered as the craziest year of his football career.

After scoring against Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal at the ending of last March, Rooney has found himself constantly in the news.

At the end of the match, Rooney found himself injured before shockingly coming back in the second leg against Bayern. Rooney's actions sparked fears of a massive injury going into the World Cup.

However, Rooney was unable to produce for England in South Africa, with the Three Lions bowing out in the round of 16 to Germany and Rooney going goalless in the Rainbow Nation.

With the start of the new season, Rooney found himself mired in controversy following the exposure of adultery by the media while his wife was pregnant.

In mid-October, Rooney stunned the world by submitting a transfer request to leave Man United, believing that the Red Devils did not have what it took to contend for a win in the Premier League and the Champions League. Rooney then retracted the request several days later after getting a new contract.

But following his goal against West Bromwich Albion on New Year's Day (his first goal in open play since the match against Bayern nearly a year earlier), Rooney's play has continued to grow.

This obviously includes the bicycle kick that Rooney did in the Manchester Derby several weeks ago to give United a huge 2-1 victory over City.

But today, Wayne Rooney was able to take his play to a level that Manchester United fans have not seen for almost a year.

In the second half of today's 4-2 win at West Ham, Rooney was able to score three goals in the second half to give United a crucial win. 

Rooney's hat trick came off of a curling free kick in the 65th minute, a drive from just inside the penalty area in the 73rd minute, and a penalty in the 79th minute.

With the win, United now hold a seven-point lead over Arsenal in the league table and are all but ensured the Premier League title at this point.

But Rooney's main goal for this season has still not been accomplished. The main goal is to get Manchester United back into the Champions League final for the third time in four years at Wembley Stadium on May 28.

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