United raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to Rooney’s fifth minute half-volley and Robin Van Persie’s drilled finish, but Diafra Sakho’s nodded goal eight minutes before halftime left United fans nervous that they might sacrifice another victory for the second week in a row. Rooney’s red card about 20 minutes into the second-half then gave West Ham the impetus to attack the Red Devils as they looked to snatch an equalizer. However, despite creating several chances, Sam Allardyce’s team just couldn’t find their goal.
“The win is very important, you can imagine that,” Louis Van Gaal explained to BBC News after the match. “We played a very good first half with attractive football. We conceded again a goal from a set play. But OK, I am very happy that we hold the result until the end because it is very difficult to play against a team who not only have have one more player but who also play a lot of high balls. I am very pleased with the attitude of my players.”
Van Gaal also admitted that Rooney deserved to be sent off for kicking out at Stewart Downing.
“It was a break out of a set play of ours and he makes a professional foul,” he noted. “I think you can call it like that. I don’t think Wayne wanted to do it that way but he did it and you can give a red card.”
Rooney will now miss three games for United, and he won’t return until the Red Devils play Manchester City on November 2. Van Gaal admitted he will be greatly missed.
“It will be a great miss, as he played very well and I was very pleased with him,” Van Gaal continued. “I think you have to do it in a more friendly way and that is the only thing that I can say. I call that a professional foul. Maybe you don’t want to hear it but in professional football you make professional fouls.”
Rooney has also admitted that he should of been sent off and that he has already apologized to his teammates for his actions.
“It was probably the right decision. Of course I did [apologise].”I saw the West Ham player making a counter-attack and I tried to break-up the play, but I just misjudged it. I am just grateful that the lads were able to hold on.”
[Image via The Independent]