England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has come out in his own defence and has said that he did not dive to get Bastian Schweinsteiger sent off at Old Trafford.
Having put up a spirited performance against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, questions were raised when Bastian Schweinsteiger was sent off for a late tackle during the dying minutes of the game. Though the German did foul Rooney, the manner in which the Englishman fell did lead to allegations that he made the most of the tackle to get the player sent off. Schweinsteiger himself had a word with Rooney after having received his second yellow card and made it quite clear that he thought that Wayne Rooney had dived to get him sent off.
But Rooney has now come out in his defence, claiming that he did not dive or try to get German sent off intentionally.
“I don’t really want to say what he said, but I think it’s a foul.”
“It could have gone either way. He could have hurt me, he’s gone in with his studs and the referee has booked him, so it’s not my decision.”
“It’s not nice to see anyone sent off but I didn’t try to get him sent off. The referee has made a decision.”
Rooney went on to add that he was merely trying to protect himself from getting hurt and that Bastian Schweinsteiger could have grievously injured him in the tackle. He believes that it was the referee’s decision to send off the German and that he will be dearly missed by Bayern Munich in the second leg.
“I’ve tried to stop myself getting hurt and the referee has had a decision to make. He’s a great player and obviously he is someone they will miss.”
Wayne Rooney believes that beating Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena will be one of the most important European victory for the club in the last few decades. Which means that beating Munich will be as important as the two European Cups that United won under Sir Alex Ferguson. However Rooney reiterated the fact that Bayern Munich are the favourites to go through to the semi-finals and that beating them will be a monumental task.
“Yes, I think it would be. They are favourites for the tournament and it will be a tough ask, but we needed to give ourselves a chance and still be in the tie and we have done that.”
“We’re in the game, its 50-50, and you can see there are chances against them.”
“They play a high line and with a little more composure we can exploit that. I think it’s a good result considering the way the season has gone and we are still in the tie, so we are looking forward to it.”
Rooney seemed optimistic and believes that beating Bayern Munich can salvage a disastrous season under David Moyes.
“It’s a fantastic stadium to play in and to go there with the chance to knock them out, with them being the holders of the competition, it’s a massive incentive for us and we are looking forward to it.”
But it remains to be seen if David Moyes can inspire his players to the semi-finals of the Champions League as Bayern Munich will be without Bastian Schweinsteiger and Martinez for the return leg. Maybe United can pull out yet another surprise on the big European stage. That remains to be seen.