Rooney tried more than Man Utd teammates, says Zabaleta

Manchester City right-back Pablo Zabaleta has said that Wayne Rooney made more of an effort than any of his Manchester United teammates during City’s 4-1 derby victory on Sunday, Sky Sports has reported.

Rooney was Man Utd’s standout performer at the Etihad Stadium, and scored their consolation goal, a direct free-kick from long range. The England international’s side were well beaten by their rivals, however, with Sergio Aguero netting a brace and Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri also on target for Man City.

The 27-year-old striker has previously claimed that fixtures against Liverpool were the biggest for Man Utd, but Zabaleta believes that Rooney’s work-rate on Sunday showed that Manchester derbies were just as important to him. The Argentine said: “I saw Rooney. He was one of their main players, he tried more than anyone else in the Manchester United team.

He says Liverpool is still the big game. But I saw him working so hard, so probably it proves this game is just as important to him as United against Liverpool. When the game is like that, and you see the team playing like that against a team like Manchester United, you know it’s a special game.

Rooney appeared set to leave Old Trafford during the summer, with Chelsea especially interested, but has been reintegrated into the squad and has now scored four goals in three games.

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