Rooney scores on return as United close in on City

By Simon Evans
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Manchester United's Wayne Rooney in action

Britain Football Soccer - Burnley v Manchester United - Premier League - Turf Moor - 23/4/17 Manchester United's Wayne Rooney in action Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic

By Simon Evans

Wayne Rooney scored on his return to the Manchester United starting-line up as Jose Mourinho's side enjoyed a 2-0 win at Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday to close in on the top four and extend their unbeaten league run to 23 games.

Rooney, who last started a game on March 4, was given the start for only the second time in 2017 in the absence of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic and with Mourinho opting to start with in-form 19-year-old Marcus Rashford on the bench.

It was his French strike partner Anthony Martial though who opened the scoring at Turf Moor in the 21st minute, breaking from midfield and then finishing in style after a swift exchange with Ander Herrera.

Rooney made it 2-0, with his 251st goal, in the 39th minute, reacting well to poke home from close range after Burnley keeper Tom Heaton failed to hold on to a low shot from Martial.

Fifth-placed United are now just a point behind local rivals Manchester City, who are fourth, ahead of their clash at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Clare Fallon)