LONDON, England, September 14 – Wayne Rooney returned from injury to give Manchester United manager David Moyes his first win at Old Trafford as the striker’s free-kick clinched a 2-0 victory over 10-man Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Rooney had missed United’s defeat at Liverpool and England’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine after suffering a gashed head in a training ground collision with team-mate Phil Jones.
But, wearing a black headband to protect the damaged area, Rooney marked his return to action with his first goal of the season in the 81st minute.
Robin van Persie had struck from the spot to give United the lead in first-half stoppage-time after Palace’s South African midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi was sent off for fouling Ashley Young.
Palace protested that Dikgacoi’s challenge on Young was outside the area, but van Persie ignored the controversy to slot in the penalty.
Moyes sent on Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini for his United debut in the 61st minute following his £27.5 million ($43.7m) move from Everton on transfer deadline day.
With Alex Ferguson watching from the stands for the first time since his retirement, United sealed their first win in three league games — and Moyes’ first on home soil since his arrival as Ferguson’s successor — thanks to Rooney’s fine free-kick.
“He tired a bit in the second half but I thought he was great in everything he did,” Moyes said of Rooney.
“I wanted him to get 90 minutes under his belt which is important with the busy week we have coming up.
“I thought we played well but we needed to score a few more goals with the build up play we managed.”
Later, Arsenal’s new signing Mesut Ozil is set to make his debut at Sunderland after his deadline day move from Real Madrid.
Chelsea could also unveil new signings Willian and Samuel Eto’o at Everton in the day’s late kick-off.