The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Rooney’s kiss of strife
Wayne Rooney was last night hailed a hero and branded a villain after Manchester United dumped neighbours City out of the FA Cup. Rooney reaffirmed his commitment to United after a week of speculation about his future by scoring twice in a performance Sir Alex Ferguson described as “magnificent”. But Roberto Mancini accused Rooney of playing a part in the dismissal of Vincent Kompany which left 3-2 losers City with 10 men for 80 minutes of an epic third-round tie. Mancini was furious with Rooney for waving an imaginary card at referee Chris Foy after Kompany’s two-footed tackle on Nani, even though he himself had made a similar gesture during last Tuesday’s victory over Liverpool. Mancini said: “It was not a red card. Rooney told him his decision. He was near the referee.” But he added: “Now we can win the league if we play with the same character we showed with 10 men against United.”
Understandably, today’s papers have gone big on Sunday’s FA Cup win at the Etihad Stadium and the resulting fourth round draw that has pitted United against rivals Liverpool at Anfield. There’s also plenty of reaction to Paul Scholes’ decision to come out of retirement and play on until the end of the season.
Former Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown has praised the midfielder’s U-turn and explained why the move will benefit the Reds. In his weekly column for the Daily Mail, Keown writes: “United haven’t replaced Scholes since he retired but it is easy for him to reintegrate. It was a big call to play him in such a big game but it shows the faith Sir Alex Ferguson has in him.”