Despite largely being overshadowed by the former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, the Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas thinks that the England international Wayne Rooney is the main reason behind United's great form this season.

United have had an amazing first half of season as they have opened a five point advantage in the table over arch rivals Manchester City. Rooney has scored almost 50% of the goals scored by van Persie, who has 18 league goals to his name. Several managers have said that the Dutchman is proving to be the difference for United this season, and one of the reasons United are topping the premier league betting stakes as well as the league table.

However, Villas-Boas differs from this opinion and he has said that Rooney is the main reason Van Persie has been able to score so many goals this season. Rooney recently marked his comeback to the team by scoring a goal in the FA Cup replay match against West Ham. However, he also missed a penalty as well, which was his second of the season.

Rooney has made 15 appearances in the league this campaign, and has scored just seven goals. Van Persie, meanwhile, has 18 goals to his name from 23 appearances. The Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently revealed that the penalty taking things have been taken off from Rooney for the time being.

"It's a very, very strong partnership, the individual talent is absolutely amazing. You can't man-to-man mark, it is difficult against a team with as much mobility as United, so I think it is a group job. He has had some difficult moments in his career but always comeback. He is a top-quality footballer. We're always very unlucky as he seems to return just in time for our games. He had this game against West Ham to come back to form," said Villas-Boas ahead of the match with United during the weekend.