Wayne Rooney was delighted with the attitude shown by his Manchester United teammates in Sunday's 5-0 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers following the club's midweek Europa League exit at the expense of Athletic Bilbao.

The 26-year-old striker is confident that the impressive Premier League form of Sir Alex Ferguson's charges will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the season, and highlighted the importance of closing the gap in goal difference between themselves and Manchester City.

Prior to yesterday's encounter, the Citizens were eight goals ahead of United - in no small part down to their 6-1 drubbing of the Red Devils at Old Trafford back in October.

However, with Roberto Mancini's side not in action at the weekend, United seized the opportunity to reduce the deficit to just three goals after firing five of their own at Molineux.

"We knew we had an opportunity to score goals today," Rooney told Sky Sports. "We spoke about it at half-time and wanted to push on and score more.

"We managed to get an extra two in the second half, so we're pleased with the result."

United now sit four points clear at the top of the Premier League table having played a game more than their closest rivals, who face a resurgent Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Rooney has no doubts that the midweek encounter will prove a tough test for City, and is confident that he and his teammates now hold the advantage in the race for the title.

"This is a great result for us," he added. "Thursday was a disappointing night for us all and we knew it was important we bounced back and bounced back well.

"Coming here over the last few years has been a difficult game for us so to leave with three points makes it a great day. I've said before today we're playing really well and getting the results we need. I'm sure if we keep doing that it'll be a good season for us."

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