Even Blues boss Roberto Mancini admitted all you can do, faced with such genius, is applaud after Rooney's jaw-dropping overhead kick 13 minutes from time settled a pulsating Manchester derby.
City were marginally the better side. But that counts for nothing now they are eight points adrift of their neighbours, having played a game more.
Rooney will get all the plaudits, and the England forward said: "That is my best goal. It was such an important game and to score the winning goal in that way was a great feeling - indescribable.
"I have seen it again. I was just trying to keep my eye on the ball and to get a good connection. Luckily it went into the top corner. It is a significant result and almost certainly rules City out of the title race unless a disaster happens."
Mancini added: "When a fantastic player like Rooney scores a goal like this, you can only clap. I am very sorry for my players. They really didn't deserve to lose this game."