Wayne Rooney aggravated a groin injury and left the field before substitute Ji-Sung Park had even stripped off, though his manager insisted last night that the striker will fit to play a full part in England's World Cup build-up.
Rooney signalled to the bench as soon as he felt a strain to the groin, immediately after a challenge from Stoke's Andy Wilkinson, and he grimaced as he took his seat in the dug-out. He first injured his groin in training 18 days ago, forcing him out of the home match with Tottenham two weeks back. However, Rooney was fit enough to complete a lap of the Old Trafford pitch with his son, Kai, in his arms. Ferguson said: "I think he had aggravated his groin again. I don't think it's serious; I think he'll be OK for England."
United will today investigate an incident preceding the match in which a smoke bomb and a flare were set off in the United megastore during the protestors against the Glazers. Nobody was injured in the incident, which formed part of a day of protest. Fans whistled and help up cards stating "Go – Glazers Out". The owner's son Avi Glazer was not at Old Trafford as planned, after volcanic ash prevented him from flying.