During his 11 year career with Manchester United, Wayne Rooney has had several ups and downs. The 29 year-old has, at times, been unfairly criticized by not just United fans but fans all over the globe.

Now captain of the team, Rooney is by far the most experienced United player in the squad. As captain, the striker seems to have matured not just on the pitch but also as a leader. Midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who was adjudged the man of the match for his exception performance, said that the captain had delivered a a very important speecha before the game.

Manager Louis Van Gaal testified to the same, crediting Rooney for inspiring the team with a speech prior to the game.

Van Gaal told reporters of the meeting: “I was aware but I was not involved. It was the captain who was involved.

“The players knew that this game was massively important and so I think the captain has to do something to help the players or the manager or the club. I was very pleased.”

The 29-year-old was just as good as many of his other team mates on the pitch, putting in a top quality performance. Uniteda s win severely dented Tottenhama s hopes of making it into the Champions League next season as they now find themselves, six points adrift of fourth place.

“We have waited a long time for such a victory,” he declared. “The performance was very good against a very good team. I’m very pleased. I have to watch the video again but we played like a team and were very determined, which is nice after a defeat. It was a massively important game and I’m very pleased with the players.

“Tottenham is a team that wants to play football so you have time and space to play your own game. It’s a matter of the process we are in. I have played this system [4-3-3] against Manchester City and Chelsea and, in those games, we didn’t do what we have done today.

“Maybe now it’s a game that gives us a fantastic boost.”

Van Gaal was later asked whether cross-town rivals Manchester City were also in the Champions League qualification race following a defeat at Burnley on Saturday, the Dutchman agreed, a Yes, because we are only two points behind.a

Next up, the Red Devils take on fierce rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.