Rooney scores first EPL goal of season as Manchester United tops Sunderland
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Memphis Depay scored his first ever Premier League goal and Wayne Rooney added his first of the season as Manchester United beat Sunderland 3-0 to go top of the standings on Saturday.
Louis van Gaal's side never looked under threat and completed a comfortable victory at Old Trafford when Juan Mata, who had set up Depay for United's opener, rounded off the scoring in the 90th minute.
The result left United top and Sunderland still bottom of the table.
Van Gaal has had his doubters during his 14-month spell in charge, but United is now top for the first time since beating Swansea 4-1 in former coach David Moyes' first game in charge on Aug. 18, 2013.
United applied plenty of early pressure and eventually found a way through in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time.
A spectacular 35-meter (yard) pass by Dutch international Daley Blind picked out Mata at the back post and the Spaniard's cutback was steered in from close range by Depay, who joined United from PSV Eindhoven for 31 million pounds (then $48 million) in June.
Rooney had another United newcomer, Anthony Martial, to thank for his goal.
Just after the re-start, the French teenager went on a clever run before whipping back a square pass. Sunderland's Lee Cattermole tried pushing the United captain out of the way, but the ball struck Rooney's knee and went in.
The strike ended Rooney's 11-match goal drought for the club in the league, and also took him level with Denis Law as United's joint-third leading league scorer with 171 goals.
United kept looking for a third and Depay wasted a clear chance in a one-on-one with Costel Pantilimon, with the 21-year-old winger sending his shot straight at the Sunderland keeper.
Mata fared a lot better, though, driving home Ashley Young's cross in the final minute to spark chants of "We are top of the league" from the Stretford End.