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Monday 9th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Rooney returns to equal club’s goal record

Man United 4-0 Reading by Simon Williams at Old Trafford

JOSE Mourinho will freshen things up when his side meets Hull City in the League Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford tomorrow night.

The Portuguese made nine changes for the 4-0 win over Reading in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

Wayne Rooney, who was returning to the starting line-up after recovering from a thigh injury, scored his 249th United goal after seven minutes to draw level with Sir Bobby Charlton as the club’s all-time leading scorer.

Anthony Martial added a second on 15 minutes before Marcus Rashford netted a third and fourth after the break as the current holders of the cup breezed into the fourth round.

Victory was the Reds’ eighth in all competitions — the first time they had done this since 2009.

The performance was “very professional,” said Mourinho. “I could feel it since the first minute because to have big chances to score, the team was intense, the team was dynamic, playing well. I’m really happy with our attitude.”

The United boss also confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia will all return to United’s starting XI when the Tigers visit.

“Today I played with fresh players and I don’t want to say anything about first team or second team, first choice or second choice. I played with fresh players, the players who didn’t play [in our last game] against West Ham.

“And in the next match against Hull I am again going to play with fresh players so it’s easy to know our team — Zlatan, Pogba, Herrera, Valencia. It’s the guys that didn’t play today.”

But despite Mourinho’s charges hosting rivals Liverpool, who play Southampton in the other League Cup semi-final on Wednesday, in their next Premier League fixture, Mourinho is still hungry to lift the trophy he first won at the end of the 2004/05 with Chelsea.

He said: “We play against Liverpool (on Sunday) which is a big match for us, but we want to be in the final.

“So we are going to face this Hull match with everything we have, with all the power we have, because we know it’s two legs but the second leg is away.

“If we can do something in the first leg that gives us the advantage, we will try that.”

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