Manchester United are running roughshod over Tottenham, up three goals to none at halftime in a crucial match between Champions League aspirants. Wayne Rooney made a great run and finish to score United's third, and afterwards unveiled the boxing knockout celebration above.
Hours before the game began, Rooney was involved in some manner of controversy. The Sun somehow got their hands on a video that shows former teammate Phil Bardsley knocking Rooney out in a playful kitchen boxing match. Look familiar?
Shockingly, the reaction from the English press seemed somewhat restrained, and dare I say sensible. Even The Sun—an awful, awful paper that make each story from American tabloids seem Pulitzer-worthy in comparison—reported that the boxing "match" took place when Rooney had a couple of days off, and that he scored two goals in his next game, seemingly unaffected. Bardsley's wife took to Twitter claims that Rooney wasn't actually knocked out, but just having a bit of fun with a friend:
If United had lost to Tottenham—which is still possible, if unlikely—the video might have metastasized into a Thing™. Instead, with Rooney and the team looking the best they have all season, it will probably (hopefully) fade away and become just another funny Rooney anecdote.
But if we're going to talk about great celebrations mocking "controversies" in the English press, Rooney still can't beat Robbie Fowler: