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Rooney equals record as EPL sides shocked

AAP logoAAP 7/01/2017

Wayne Rooney stands one goal away from becoming Manchester United's outright record goal-scorer after equalling club great Sir Bobby Charlton's mark of 249 on Saturday.

With the 79-year-old Charlton watching from the stands, Rooney guided in Juan Mata's cross after seven minutes as the defending FA Cup champions swept aside second-tier Reading 4-0 in the third round.

English Premier League teams Bournemouth, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City all bowed out.

Third-tier Millwall thumped Bournemouth 3-0, West Brom went down to Championship side Derby County 2-1, while Wolverhampton Wanderers, also from the second tier, upset Stoke 2-0.

In all-Premier League matches, Ahmed Musa scored twice as Leicester fought back from a goal down to defeat Everton 2-1, Hull beat Swansea 2-0, while Sunderland and Burnley drew 0-0.

Non-league sides Sutton United and Lincoln City earned replays but there was no fairytale for the lowest-ranked team in the competition Stourbridge as it went down at Wycombe 2-1.

Rooney's latest milestone - he is the record scorer for England - came in front of Old Trafford fans who have adored him, on and off, since he joined as a teenage prodigy from Everton in 2004.

"To do it at such a massive club like Manchester United, it is a really proud moment for me," Rooney said.

"It was not something I could have imagined. You don't think that far ahead, but I have been at this club a long time, it is a huge part of my life, and it is an honour to be up there alongside Sir Bobby."

The game will be remembered for Rooney's 249th United goal as the hosts ensured an unhappy return to Old Trafford for their former defender Jaap Stam, whose Reading side was outclassed.

Rooney set up Anthony Martial for 2-0 not long after he scored the opener.

United, winning for the eighth consecutive game in all competitions, added two more in quick succession after the break through Marcus Rashford, his second coming after a mistake from goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.

In the late game Arsenal were left to rely on Olivier Giroud heroics as the Frenchman headed them an 89th minute winner against Preston North End.

The Gunners went into halftime down 1-0 but second half strikes from Aaron Ramsey and Giroud gave them a 2-1 win.

In Liverpool a turgid first half at Goodison Park was followed by an entertaining second as Leicester showed the mettle that made it English champion last season.

It fell behind to Romelu Lukaku's goal on 53 minutes but fought back to earn a place in the fourth round.

Musa's equaliser was a rebound after he struck the post, and his second goal five minutes later was a fine finish after he played a one-two with Danny Drinkwater.

Tom Ince, son of former England midfielder Paul Ince, struck a fine winner to upset top-flight West Brom.

The hosts led through a Matt Phillips long-range strike but Derby hit back in the second half as Darren Bent levelled and Ince curled home a superb free-kick.

But it was Bournemouth who delivered the biggest shock.

Millwall, the one-time home of Socceroos legend Tim Cahill made Bournemouth pay for resting several of their best players with a 3-0 humbling at a raucous Den.

Bournemouth made 11 changes from its last game with Socceroos Adam Federici and Brad Smith afield for the humbling.

It was a mixed day for Australians - Jackson Irvine watched on as Burton Albion were beaten 2-0 by Watford while Aaron Mooy came on in the 67th minute as Huddersfield belted Port Vale 4-0.

There were several draws that will see replays upcoming - Norwich twice levelled with Southampton to force a return bout at St. Marys, Championship sides Newcastle and Birmingham will also go again after a 1-1 draw.

Sunderland and Burnley held each other goalless, as did Crystal Palace and Bolton Wanderers.

Second tier Brentford were big winners with a 5-1 rout of National League Eastleigh, while resurgent Blackburn Rovers knocked out Queens Park Rangers 2-1.

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