Manchester United vs West Ham: Louis van Gaal admits Wayne Rooney red card was 'fair for professional foul'

Rooney has spoken to Van Gaal about the dismissal, but the United manager believes there were other challenges that went unpunished

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Wayne Rooney was sent off for crudely hacking down Stewart Downing at Old Trafford on Saturday and Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal admitted he got what he deserved.

Questions about Rooney’s suitability for the United captaincy multiplied after an incident which did not cost victory, but is likely to result in suspension from forthcoming games against Everton, West Brom and Chelsea.

Van Gaal, whose side held on to win 2-1 after Rooney’s 60th-minute dismissal, said: “Wayne’s red card changed everything. It was a fair red card. Wayne has come to me after the game, like he always does. He told me he didn’t mean for it to be like that. He could have made the foul in a more friendly way.


“Whether you like to hear it or not, football is a professional game, with professional fouls. I have seen five or six them today that didn’t get a red or yellow card, but with Wayne the referee makes another decision.”

Manchester United 2 West Ham 1 match report

Van Gaal refused to answer questions about whether Rooney has the requisite temperament for leadership.