Manchester:Six years after a moment of brilliance introduced a sparkling 16-year-old talent to the world, Wayne Rooney has a 100 club goals to look back on.
And the England striker is still only 23.
While not as spectacular as that blistering 25-meters (yard) strike for Everton against Arsenal in October 2002 - his third senior goal and first in the league - Rooney's tap-in for Manchester United against crosstown rival Manchester City could prove decisive in the title race.
"To be honest, I didn't really think about the fact it was my 100th goal," said Rooney, who joined United from Everton in 2004. "I was more excited about scoring away at City. And for it to turn out to be the winning goal is very pleasing.
"We were on top so it was important we got the first goal. We knew that 0-0 at halftime would have given City a lift and they would have put us under a bit more pressure in the second half."
Rooney's goal came after 42 minutes of supremacy against City, which had been sapped of energy by Thursday's UEFA Cup victory over Schalke. Goalkeeper Joe Hart, however, was proving difficult to penetrate.
But Hart couldn't cling onto Michael Carrick's angled drive and Rooney was positioned perfectly - and unmarked - to bundle the ball over the line from six meters (yards). Rooney darted toward the City fans that had earlier been hurling abuse and refusing to return the ball as he prepared to take a corner, but resisted a chance to taunt them.
"I love the type of goal Wayne scored," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "Andy Cole was a tap-in specialist because he always anticipated situations and Wayne anticipated very well today.
"Scoring 100 goals is a terrific achievement, and his work-rate throughout was phenomenal."
The 1-0 victory, which survived Cristiano Ronaldo's sending off, allowed the defending champions to trim the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea and Liverpool to five points with a game in hand.
"It was a massive win," Rooney said. "Not necessarily because it was against Manchester City, but because three points are vital."