EXCLUSIVE: Rooney to escape extra ban despite raging at ref and punching corner flag in United's def
Wayne Rooney will escape punishment for the on-field tantrum he displayed after being sent off at Fulham, Sportsmail understands. The Manchester United striker was handed an automatic one-match ban for being shown two yellow cards in the champions' defeat at Craven Cottage on Saturday. But he will escape further action for remonstrating with the referee, his tardiness in leaving the pitch and his petulant swing at the corner flag as he headed for the tunnel. Sportsmail understands that referee Phil Dowd included none of the incidents in his match report, so the fiery England international will not be charged. Rooney, 23, and his boss Sir Alex Ferguson felt the sending off was harsh. Rooney threw the ball in the direction of the referee, to a position where United had won a free-kick, as an ill-tempered United pushed to get back into the match. His conduct was reminiscent of Javier Mascherano's rant at Steve Bennett at Old Trafford a year ago this month. The Argentina midfielder was charged with improper conduct, fined£15,000 and given an extra two-match ban after refusing to leave thepitch promptly during his side's 3-0 defeat. Sources also indicate that George McCartney's sending off in Sunderland's 1-0 defeat to Manchester City will be overturned. McCartney was shown a straight red card by referee Steve Tanner inthe 15th minute of Sunday's match for 'denying a goalscoring opportunity' after tuggingthe shoulder of Shaun Wright-Phillips on the edge of the area. However, replays suggested there was minimal contact while Wright-Phillips was not in full control of the ball and Sunderland are set to win their appeal.