MANCHESTER United manager Sir Alex Ferguson praised Wayne Rooney’s composure after the striker kept his nerve to fire the champions to a first European victory of the season.
Rooney, sent off for England on his last competitive start, scored two second-half penalties as United downed a resolute Otelul Galati side in Bucharest.
A red card for defender Nemanja Vidic, on his return from injury, meant both sides finished with 10 men and soured United’s triumph slightly, but Ferguson was content enough with Rooney’s contribution.
“He showed composure and took his penalties well,” said Ferguson. “In the second half we improved a great deal. Nani’s performance was terrific, Rooney started to come into the game, Anderson was terrific. I was satisfied with the result.
“We won -- that’s the important thing. We said before that if we won our next two games that brings us to eight points. I’ve always said that 10 points gets you through.”
Ferguson called Vidic’s dismissal, a straight red card for a high tackle in the 67th minute, “very harsh” but said he would be unlikely to appeal referee Felix Brych’s decision. He added: “I don’t think you win these things.”
Rooney was left on the bench for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool, which came less than 48 hours after learning he would be banned for three international games, ruling him out of the Euro 2012 group stage.
He was back in the starting line-up last night against the Romanian champions but found his involvement restricted until the second half, when the visitors gained the upper hand.
The breakthrough came in the 64th minute, when Rooney’s cross was handled in the penalty area by Sergiu Costin and the striker sent goalkeeper Branko Grahovac the wrong way.
Vidic’s sending off gave the home side hope, but they then saw Milan Perendija dismissed for a second booking and Rooney made the points safe in injury time when he won and emphatically scored his second spot kick of the evening.