Alex Ferguson shrugs off Wayne Rooney strop

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson shrugged off Wayne Rooney's bad-tempered reaction to being substituted in Istanbul last night.

The Manchester United striker was replaced after an hour of his side's 1-0 victory over Besiktas after running himself into the ground as a lone front-man.

Given the work he had to do for England in two internationals, and a gruelling examination at Tottenham, when he was part of a side that completed the game with only 10 men, Rooney might have been glad of the break, particularly as Manchester City go to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Instead, Rooney was severely put-out, trudging all the way to the touchline, before shaking his head and throwing his boots to the ground in disgust.

"It was always part of our thoughts to bring Wayne off," confirmed Ferguson.

"He had been playing as the lone striker for an hour, which is why he was always going to come off.

"He is never pleased to come off. He has so much energy he wants to play all the time."

Although the win itself was fairly routine, with Paul Scholes pouncing 13 minutes from time after Nani had seen his blistering shot saved by Hakan Arikan, there were a couple of unsavoury incidents for Ferguson to reflect on.

Police were forced to intervene to get a group of Besiktas fans away from the visitors' dug-out, while Ferguson confirmed Jonny Evans had been targeted by a supporter carrying a laser.

"It was in the first-half, although thankfully the police did something about it," said the United boss.

"They managed to get the culprit, which is good because I noticed it particularly on Jonny Evans. It seemed to be on him all the time."

Ferguson was also altered to a security problem behind his dug-out, although he was eager not to make an issue of that.

"Someone mentioned it to me, but I never saw anything," he said.

"I do know the fans made the loudest noise I have ever heard. They never stopped the whole night."

It didn't stop United opening their quest to reach a third successive Champions League final in the perfect manner.

Ferguson was delighted with his team's overall display, particularly Antonio Valencia, who was making his Champions League debut following his £17million summer arrival from Wigan.

"Antonio was always a threat," said Ferguson.

"He got to the by-line so many times and really we should have done better.

"He has got the potential to be a really good player. He is powerful and strong, with a lot of enthusiasm.

"He is very quick, with good balance and in a years' time he will have developed more parts of his game."