Manchester United's newly appointed captain Wayne Rooney believes that he deserved to be sent off against West Ham after he was shown a straight red card for a wild kick on Stewart Downing.
Rooney scored United's opening goal in the first half smashing home a beautiful cross from Rafael from the right flank. Robin van Persie added United's second goal of the game but West Ham's Diafra Sakho cut the Mancunians' lead to just one goal after pouncing on a cross that goalkeeper David de Gea failed to grasp.
With the opposition pushing for an equaliser, United and England captain Wayne Rooney let his frustration get the better of him in the 59th minute. The 28-year-old aimed right at Downing's legs just when the former Liverpool man was starting a swift counter attack for the Hammers.
Some might argue that it was a professional foul but referee Lee Mason was hearing nothing and produced a straight red for the challenge. Rooney walked away without uttering a word.
The violent conduct sending off carries a three game ban which means the United skipper is set to miss crucial matches against Everton, West Brom and Chelsea next month.
“Obviously we got away with it by getting the win, but I’m really gutted that I’m going to be missing the next three games,” said Rooney. “That’s the most disappointing thing.
“It’s hard to take and I am obviously gutted. But it was probably the right decision. I saw the West Ham player making a counter-attack and I tried to break-up the play, but just misjudged it.
“It was a dangerous situation in that they were trying to break on us and I’ve just misjudged it, simple as that, but I have no complaints.
“I understand it. I knew at the time that I misjudged it. It’s a red card and I don’t think it will benefit anyone to appeal the decision.”
Rooney also revealed that he has apologised to his teammates and hit back at reports suggesting that he has an ongoing problems with his temper.
“I expect people to say that but, at the end of the day, I was trying to break up the play,” said Rooney.
“Yeah, of course I did [apologise]. I think everyone knew [I was in the wrong], so I’m just grateful that the lads were able to hold on.
“It’s always tough against 11 men when you’re a man down, especially when they’re throwing a lot of balls into the box as they were, so I’m grateful that we held out.”
When asked he he had apologised to Stewart Downing, Rooney said: “No. I haven’t absolutely volleyed the lad.
“I’ve tried to trip him up and, to be fair to him, he got further away from me and that’s why my leg is straighter than it should have been. As he pushed the ball away, my leg has straightened out and that’s obviously why the referee has deemed it a red card.”
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce spoke about his views on the red card: “It was crazy and it's irresponsible. We all know that lads trip up players, but he give him a bit of a swipe.
“Normally, it’s a little trip and they get the yellow card and they get on with it, but I think this was probably a little bit more.”
Rooney will return to action for Manchester United in the hugely anticipated Manchester Derby against Manchester City on November 2.
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