Manchester United fans may have cause to be slightly annoyed as it has emerged that star duo Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney were both fit enough to play during last night’s Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Sunderland.

The Red Devils won 2-1 on the night but were beaten on penalties due to the fact that Sunderland had emerged victorious by the same scoreline at the Stadium of Light, with neither Van Persie or Rooney making the subs bench.

However ESPN have now revealed that both were eligible for selection having sufficiently recovered from their respective injuries. Van Persie has missed United’s last 11 games having sustained a thigh injury during the Champions League fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk in December and is thought to be cautious concerning his return to action as he is not willing to run the risk of a recurring problem in a World Cup year.

Similarly his English striker partner has resumed training with United but has yet to return from a problem which has kept him out of his side’s last five games.

Perhaps the most pertinent point is the theory that the Premier League champions may have had a far more comfortable time last night had they had the two available.

Not only are Van Persie and Rooney United’s leading goal-scorers in all competitions but they are both regular penalty takers.

Given the fact that only one of Moyes’ chosen penalty takers converted successfully, fans may feel aggrieved that the United boss didn’t gamble on the decision to at least place his star players on the bench.

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