Malaysia XI 0 Manchester United 2: Ferguson defends hot-head Rooney
21 July 2009 02:21
Sir Alex Ferguson sprang to the defence of Wayne Rooney on Monday night after the Manchester United forward marked his second pre-season appearance with an ugly and unnecessary lunge at an opponent here.
Rooney has looked bright and purposeful on United's tour so far and was arguably his team's best player as they beat a Malaysia XI 3-2 on Saturday night.
But the 23-year-old let his temper get the better of him when the teams met again last night, diving in at the ankles of midfielder Amar Rohidan. His opponent may have made a meal of it but it was a poor challenge nonetheless, apparently prompted by a tangle Rooney had with goalkeeper Mohammad Marlias earlier.
'The keeper whacked him in the ear and that had already been stitched,' Ferguson said. 'I think that caused it. It was just a momentary explosion of anger.'
Rooney arrived in the Far East with an ear injury suffered on holiday with his wife, Coleen, and it would appear he suffered further damage to it yesterday.
That apart, the evening passed without incident as Ferguson used 21 players on a hot and humid evening. Only Wes Brown played the full 90 minutes.
The game was won inside the opening 15 minutes as first Federico Macheda scored from close range after receiving a low cross from Darren Fletcher, then Michael Owen converted his second goal of the tour from equally close range.
Manchester United players
Manchester United players observe a minute's silence for the victims of the Jakarta bombings
Owen has looked in good touch so far out here and almost scored again in a busy first half, flicking a low cross expertly towards goal, only for the ball to bounce back off a post.
Ferguson said: 'That was a typical Michael Owen moment. He timed his run to the near post perfectly and it was unfortunate the ball came back off the post.' United have a day off today and then head for Seoul.
UNITED: Foster (Kuszack 45) Neville (O'Shea 57), Brown, Evans (Ferdinand 57), Fabio (Evra 57), Fletcher (Scholes 70), Carrick (Gibson 70), Giggs (Anderson 70), Tosic (Nani 57), Macheda (Rooney 57), Owen (Berbatov 57).