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.

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own