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Rooney accepts he deserved to be sent off

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Not even United's captain can argue that he should have stayed on the pitch.

Laurence Griffiths

Wayne Rooney has accepted that the referee made the right decision to send him off an hour into Saturday's game against West Ham United. Manchester United's captain was shown a red card after he attempted to trip Stewart Downing but ended up -- and there is no gentle way of putting this so we're going to be blunt -- punting him in the balls:

It was probably the right decision. I saw the West Ham player making a counter-attack and I tried to break up the play, but I just misjudged it. I didn't absolutely volley the lad.

Which is instantly one of tBB's favourite mea culpas. Yes, I punted him in the balls. But I didn't absolutely volley him in the balls.

I tried to trip him up and, to be fair to him, he got further away from me and that's why my leg is straighter than it should have been. As he pushed the ball away, my leg straightened out and that is obviously why the referee deemed it as a red card.

Also a big fan of that "to be fair to him". As though people had been suggesting that Downing was in some at fault for having been too close to him. Anyway, Rooney concluded his apology by thanking his teammates for seeing out the win.

I think everyone knew [I was in the wrong]. It's always tough against 11 men when you are a man down, especially when they are throwing a lot of balls into the box as West Ham were doing, so I am grateful that we held out.

Silly berk.