Sir Alex Ferguson’s side bounced back from a disappointing home defeat against Tottenham with an impressive win away at Newcastle before the international break. The Red Devil’s hadn’t lost successive games on their own turf since 2003 but must have been fearing the worst after Rooney handed the Potters into a shock 11th minute lead.
Paul Scholes, making his 400th Premier League start, gave away a free kick that was delivered by Charlie Adam and indadvertedly headed into his home net by Rooney with former United youngster Ryan Shawcross lurking behind.
Adam then forced David De Gea into a smart save and Jonathan Walters fired wide as the visitors looked to capitalise on their shock lead but were pegged back just before the half hour mark. Rooney atoned for his error to score head home his first Premier League goal of the season from a fizzing Robin Van Persie cross.
Van Persie then steered in Antonio Valencia’s centre to deservedly put United in front heading into the break extending their lead just a minute after the restart as Rooney took advantage of a napping Stoke defence to set up Danny Welbeck for his first of the campaign.
But the home sides defensive frailties were once again brought to the fore in the 58th minute as Michael Kightly bulldozed his way through four challenges before finding the net via the post to give Stoke hope of mounting a stunning comeback.
Luckily for Ferguson and his players the visitors switched off again and Rooney was on hand to restore United’s two goal cushion and score his second of the game to ensure they stay hot on Chelsea’s heels at the top.