Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has revealed Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford was one of the worst days of his football career.
The England international, a Liverpool native, joined the Red Devils from Everton in a deal worth £25.6 million in August 2004 and has since gone on to establish himself as one of the best attackers in European football.
Rooney, who has won 12 trophies with the reigning English Premier League champions, is currently enduring a nightmare campaign at the Theatre of Dreams, which hit a new low on Sunday.
“It’s one of the worst days I’ve ever had in football,” Rooney told MUTV. “It’s hard to take. You have to give Liverpool credit – they played well – but it’s difficult to take. Nobody wants to lose, especially in this way, in your own stadium. It’s not nice.”
The Red Devils fell behind 1-0 after Rafael gave up a silly penalty for handling the ball in the 34th minute. The spot kick was subsequently converted by captain Steven Gerrard.
The score remained 1-0 at halftime but Phil Jones brought down Joe Allen inside the box immediately after the re-start and United found themselves 2-0 down, with Gerrard netting again.
“To go behind by one penalty was hard to take,” Rooney said. “We had a game plan for the second half, which went out the window when they got the second penalty so early on.
“It made it an uphill battle to come back. I thought after that we had a couple of chances where I thought, if we got one, we could have gone for a second and maybe we could have done it.”
The rich almost got richer in the 78th minute after Daniel Sturridge conned referee Mark Clattenburg, who sent off Nemanja Vidic for the ‘offence.’
However, Gerrard was denied by the woodwork, failing to become the first player to score a penalty-kick hat-trick in the Premier League era.
“Then, to concede a third penalty, even though they missed, was a big blow to us,” added Rooney. “We were then chasing the game with 10 men. That made it difficult for us and they kept the ball well to see the game out.
“I haven’t seen the penalties back again but from where I was standing on the pitch I don’t think we can argue with them.”
United (14-6-9) are currently in seventh-place in the league table, 12 points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City who also have two games in hand, leaving the club with a ‘slim-to-none’ chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
The Reds’ only real chance of securing Champions League football for next season would be to win the competition this term but that entails overturning a two-goal deficit to Greek giants Olympiakos, who will visit Old Trafford in midweek.
Now then, will United be playing in Europe’s premier club football competition next season?