Manchester United players were delighted with today’s 2-1 Carling Cup win over Aston Villa at Wembley. None more so that match winner Wayne Rooney, who came off the bench to head home. The 28-goal striker replaced Michael Owen in the 40th minute and headed home United’s winning goal with 15 minutes to go.
“It’s a great feeling to play in a final at Wembley and to score the winning goal,” said Rooney who started the match with a cold and ended it with a minor knee injury.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling but the lads did really well and we deserve the win. I wasn’t feeling too great and I should have scored another header. It hit the post, maybe I should have been another one?”
Serbian Nemanja Vidic, who Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neil felt should have seen red for a fourth minute challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor, said that United deserved a third Carling Cup win in five years.
“It’s nice to win the big games, it was a hard game today but we deserved to win,” said the former-Spartak Moscow defender, who escaped further sanction from referee Phil Dowd for the penalty challenge.
“I could have done better with the goal they scored. Agbonlahor did really well but I don’t think it was a sending off. I got in front of him and made the tackle, I wasn’t behind him.
“It’s always nice to win, now we have the confidence for the rest of the season. We’re happy.”
Owen, who will have an assessment on a tweaked hamstring tomorrow, was delighted despite being forced out of the match in the opening half. The striker made a rare start ahead of Rooney for the final.
“It’s great to win, great to score and great to play a part,” added the former-Liverpool forward, who scored his ninth United goal in just 11 starts this season.
“It’s just sad that I’ve picked up an hamstring injury. It’s my first injury since I’ve been at United. It was a real chance because it’s not every week I start a game.
“It’s been a fantastic season so far so I can’t grumble. Hopefully I won’t be out too long. Obviously Wayne’s played every week so it was good for him to rest today.”
But Owen wasn’t concerned with continued media speculation about his position with the England team, as manager Fabio Capello watched the Wembley final. The Italian is yet to pick Owen for an international squad.
“I didn’t think of who was watching. I don’t think about the World Cup. A lot of people have been getting their knickers in a twist about it,” added Owen.
“I just want to play for Man United and if that gets me recognition, then great. I’ve been to many World Cups and European Championships. If I don’t go, it gives someone else a chance.”