Rooney sends City tumbling

Injury-time goal takes United through 4-3 on aggregate, but club face inquiry into missiles thrown at Craig Bellamy

Wayne Rooney last night delivered the ultimate riposte to Manchester City's wealth and ambition, declaring that Manchester United's neighbours "didn't know what to do" in the second half of another extraordinary fixture between the clubs which sent Sir Alex Ferguson into a record seventh League Cup final after a 3-1 win.

In a denouement which mirrored the 4-3 victory over City in September's Premier League game at Old Trafford, Rooney leapt to head home Ryan Giggs' cross in the third minute of second-half injury time, his 21st goal of a productive season sealing victory to set up a Wembley final with Aston Villa on 28 February. "When we were at them they didn't know what to do. They could not get out," Rooney said.

City, who will this morning pursue the £5m signature of Middlesbrough's England Under-21 winger Adam Johnson, have demonstrated across two legs the threat they pose to United's ascendancy, but Ferguson masterminded the win as his side flooded forward after the break.

"I thought Wayne was much better today than he was on Saturday and he scored four goals against Hull," the United manager said. "His control, his leading of the line and his penetration was absolutely fantastic tonight. It was a wonderful performance and a true world-class display."

City's manager, Roberto Mancini, rued the space Rooney was allowed to score. "He's a fantastic player, top player. The next time we must have more attention. If you give one chance to Rooney to score, he will take it."

An investigation will be launched into a missile-throwing attack in which City's Craig Bellamy was hit by a coin in the second half and had a bottle hurled at him by fans. United said last night that two suspects have been identified and arrested. "I didn't see it," Mancini said.

Rooney's goal was bitter luck for City, who seemed to be heading into extra time after Carlos Tevez's superb 76th-minute goal had set the aggregate scores level at 3-3, though their goalkeeper Shay Given had been called upon to make a point-blank save from Darren Fletcher seconds before Rooney pounced. Paul Scholes, integral to United's commanding second-half midfield display, had earlier sent United into a 52nd-minute lead which Michael Carrick extended 19 minutes later.

The police's pleas for players to desist from inflammatory behaviour were also forgotten on an incendiary night in which Luis Nani, Carlos Tevez and Paul Scholes were all booked

City are convinced their bid for Johnson can see off Chelsea's interest. The London club are also understood to be prepared to pay £5m and allow the 22-year-old to stay at the Riverside until the summer to help out Gordon Strachan's side in the Championship. But City's package may be enough to bring in a player who is out of contract the summer.

Robinho was left out of the City squad last night because of the negotiations which seem destined to take him to Santos.

Rio Ferdinand gambled on having a probable three-game ban for violent conduct extended to four, by denying the charge and so enabling himself to play against City, ahead of a Football Association regulatory commission which will sit today to consider his apparent lash at the face of Hull City's Craig Fagan on Saturday.

United's adviser, the former FA compliance officer Graham Bean told Ferdinand that the evidence against him was compelling but he still decided to appeal.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test