Wayne Rooney said it was a “sweet moment” to score the 200th Premier League goal of his career in Everton’s draw at Manchester City on Monday night.
The 31-year-old became just the second player to accomplish the feat after Alan Shearer, who finished his career with 260 goals in the Premier League, which began under its current format in 1992.
Rooney met Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s pass with his left foot and sent it through the legs of City goalkeeper Ederson to put Everton ahead in the 35th minute, though City struck back late to earn a 1-1 draw.
“It was nice,” Rooney told Sky Sports about his landmark goal after the game. “To do it today in such an important game for us, with tough games coming up, it was a sweet moment and I am sure the red half of Manchester will have enjoyed it as well.”
Rooney’s goal was his second in the league since returning to Everton this summer after 13 years at Manchester United, where he scored 183 goals. He scored 15 in his first stint with Everton from 2002-04.
He has scored 156 with his right foot, 23 with his left and 21 with his head. It took him 462 games to reach the milestone, while Shearer needed just 306.
“To join Alan Shearer, that amount of goals, obviously a lot to do to catch Alan,” Rooney laughed. “No, but obviously it’s a great moment and hopefully a lot more to come.”
And the forward said he was happy with his new role under Ronald Koeman after struggling to stay in Jose Mourinho’s plans at United last season.
“The manager has made it clear he wants to play me in the attacking positions,” Rooney said. “I have done that throughout my career and the thing for me is to play. I didn’t play as much last year and if you don’t play you don’t get that match fitness.”
As for the result, Rooney said he was “a bit frustrated” that Everton conceded a late equaliser, but admitted that a point was an acceptable accomplishment at the Etihad.
“We can certainly improve. It is early days obviously,” he said. “We have made a lot of signings this summer. We are ambitious, we try to move forward. Time will tell, we aim to get better hopefully over the next year or two and hopefully that brings success.
“Everton have shown their ambition. We are trying to close that gap on the top teams.”
Koeman said Rooney’s resurgence did not come as a shock.
“I am not surprised about Wayne Rooney,” the manager said. “I know how eager he was to come back to Everton. We are really happy that he is back.
“In the first game when we played Stoke at home, there was a difference between him and the rest about cleverness in the game, view of the game and also tonight he had a big impact on the final result.”
However, Koeman was frustrated that his side couldn’t hold on for the three points.
“We go to City it is always tough the way they play but I think the gameplan was perfect,” he told a news conference. “We had a good defensive organisation. We left Otamendi on the ball. We had good man-marking against De Bruyne and Silva.
“With the quality they have they will always create chances. We scored the goal and disappointed now, 1-0 up and 11 against 10. We did one wrong thing in the second half. We played too much the long ball instead of play short.
“That is a criticism of everyone on the pitch, not the defenders. Even with one less players on the pitch City that high quality team they will create and they will play. It is a good point, happy, we worked hard for that point.”