Wayne Rooney sparks Manchester United comeback at Hull
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
Wayne Rooney, right, starred for Manchester United in its comeback 3-2 win at Hull City in the English Premier League.
- Manchester United beats Hull 3-2 for a fifth straight win in all competitions
- United trailed 2-0 within 13 minutes before Wayne Rooney sparks a comeback
- Rooney sets up one goal, scores another and played a part in United's winner
- It was only the second home defeat of the season for Steve Bruce's Hull
(CNN) -- If Manchester United rallies to win the English Premier League, it might look back at Thursday's Boxing Day clash at Hull as a turning point.
United trailed 2-0 within 13 minutes against a side that had lost only one home game in the league all season but Wayne Rooney inspired a comeback and the Red Devils prevailed 3-2 for a fifth straight victory in all competitions.
Rooney set up Chris Smalling, scored a stunner to make it 2-2 in the first half and was on hand to pressure James Chester as the defender headed the own goal winner in the second half.
Chester -- briefly a United player -- had opened the scoring and was thwarted in injury time by keeper David De Gea as Hull pushed forward in the dying stages. United finished the game with 10 men after Antonio Valencia's late red.
Defending champion United, once 13 points off the pace in the Premier League, moved to within five of leader Liverpool ahead of Thursday's later kickoffs.
"We had some poor results at the start of the season and we're showing some real quality in the last few weeks," Rooney told Sky Sports. "We're having a go. We're fighting for each other, we're working hard and we're ready for the challenge.
"Hopefully we can surprise a few people."
Chester took advantage of slack marking in the United box on a corner to lash a shot into the roof of the net in the fourth minute and United defender Jonny Evans failed to clear in the 13th, allowing David Meyler to double the lead on a low effort that deflected off the Northern Irishman.
"It was my fault for the first one," said Rooney.
But Rooney's perfect delivery teed up Smalling in the 19th minute and the England striker scored his 150th Premier League goal for Manchester United with a volley in the 26th minute.
Alex Bruce -- the son of Hull manager and former United defender Steve Bruce -- struck the crossbar as United's defense wobbled again in the 63rd minute before Chester's gaffe from Ashley Young's dangerous cross in the 66th.
Hull had more than a few opportunities to equalize in the final 10 minutes.
Danny Graham's tame header went straight to De Gea, the Spaniard's poor punch led to panic and following Valencia's second yellow for kicking the ball away in the 90th minute, De Gea stopped Chester with his legs.
Part of complete coverage on
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
After a miserable Champions League defeat to Olympiakos, CNN's John Sinnott wonders if Manchester United is officially in trouble.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
CNN's David Ford analyzes the changing face of Manchester City since Barcelona's last visit to the English club 11 years ago.
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
A ruling that Polish fans will not face legal action after anti-Semitic chanting sparks debate over whether it signals acceptance of such attacks.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
If FIFA really cared about gay rights, why did it give the World Cup to a country where homosexuality is illegal, asks CNN's James Masters.
CNN's Alex Thomas takes a brave punt on the 2014 champion ahead of Friday's World Cup draw.
Today's five most popular stories