Wayne Rooney "Fortunate" to Escape Three Match Ban for Elbow

Wayne Rooney

He scored the only goal for Manchester United tonight in their 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in London.

Rooney escaped any retrospective sanctions from the Football Association, despite television replays clearly showing the striker thrusting his elbow into Wigan's James McCarthy’s head last weekend.

The FA insisted that, as referee Mark Clattenburg had decided he had dealt with the incident appropriately at the time, it was powerless under FIFA law to take any further action against the England international.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said Rooney had been lucky to escape punishment for his “silly” attack.

“The rules are straight and clearly there,” Ferguson said. “Mark Clattenburg dealt with it, he spoke to the player and gave the free-kick to Wigan. That was the end of the story."

“The one person who comes out with great credit is the referee himself as he was obviously under tremendous pressure, probably from the Football Association and from the media, which we expected. It’s over with.

“Wayne is a bit fortunate. It was a clash but nothing serious that hurt the player. Nonetheless, it was a silly thing to do.”

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