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Result: Wayne Rooney flick ends Manchester United's eight-match winless run

Wayne Rooney scores the winner as Manchester United pick up their first victory in nine matches with a 2-1 triumph over Swansea City at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney moved into second on the all-time scoring charts for both the Premier League and Manchester United to help the Red Devils beat Swansea City 2-1 at Old Trafford this afternoon.

The hosts had been winless in eight matches heading into the game - their worst run for 16 years - but the skipper relieved some of the pressure on Louis van Gaal's shoulders with a moment of magic in the final 15 minutes.

Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring during the game between Manchester United and Swansea on January 2, 2016)© Getty Images

Both sides went into the match having only managed one goal in their last three games, and it was a predictably tight opening to the contest with Ander Herrera's blocked shot being the only notable sight of goal in the first 20 minutes.

Rooney had the first real hint of a chance midway through the first half when a cross found him unmarked at the back post, but his first touch let him down and he could only drill an effort into the side-netting.

Swansea continued to grow into the match and tested David de Gea for the first time shortly before the half-hour mark when Wayne Routledge's volley drew a comfortable save from the Spanish keeper.

Wayne Routledge and Daley Blind in action during the game between Manchester United and Swansea on January 2, 2016© Getty Images

The clearest chance of the half went the way of the home side, however, as Juan Mata collected a quick free kick inside the area, only to see his first effort blocked by Neil Taylor's last-ditch challenge and the rebound roll tamely into the arms of Lukasz Fabianski.

Rooney had two more headed chances either side of another Fabianski save from Mata towards the end of the half, but that didn't stop the home fans inside Old Trafford from voicing their displeasure as the two sides went into the break.

United responded to that in the opening stages of the second half by making a quick start, breaking the deadlock within two minutes when Anthony Martial nodded Ashley Young's cross past Fabianski.

Anthony Martial scores the opener during the game between Manchester United and Swansea on January 2, 2016© Getty Images

Rooney and Herrera had openings to double that advantage as the hosts enjoyed a dominant spell, with Young causing havoc down the right, but Swansea came within inches of levelling things up against the run of play when Gylfi Sigurdsson clipped a cross in to Andre Ayew, whose header came back off the post.

The visitors would not have to wait much longer to restore parity, however, as Modou Barrow's cross found Sigurdsson, who flicked a header expertly over De Gea and into the far corner.

Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates scoring during the game between Manchester United and Swansea on January 2, 2016© Getty Images

That piled the pressure back on under-fire manager Van Gaal, but his captain came to the rescue just six minutes later. Martial turned provider this time with a cut-back into the middle, which Rooney flicked into the far corner.

It was a special way to score his 238th goal for United, moving into outright second ahead of Denis Law, and it proved to be the winner too despite Ashley Williams testing De Gea with a thumping effort in stoppage time.

There was almost an even more unlikely name on the scoresheet with the final action of the match when Fabianski was up for a corner, planting a header just wide as United hung on for a win that takes them back up to fifth in the table.

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Depressed otter Louis van Gaal appears prior to the game between Manchester United and Stoke City on December 26, 2015
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events


HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

BEACH VOLLEYBALL
· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

BOXING
· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

DIVING
· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

CYCLING
· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

FOOTBALL
· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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