WAYNE Rooney devised a penalty plan to combat giant Sunderland keeper Costel Pantilimon on Saturday.
Rooney’s spot-kick provided the breakthrough for Manchester United in Saturday’s 2-0 Old Trafford victory over the Wearsiders.
Before the match, United boss Louis van Gaal complained he did not have a 20-goal a season striker, but Rooney took his penalty well and also nodded in an 84th-minute second to seal the win.
“He said to me, and he was right, that he usually hits penalties high into the goal. Today, he shot along the ground because of their tall goalkeeper and I was very happy that was the case,” Van Gaal said.
United, who tackle Newcastle at St James’s Park on Wednesday night, missed Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and Victor Valdes against Sunderland at the weekend, with Anders Lindegaard replacing the former Barcelona keeper on the bench.
“Shaw had a tight hamstring and Jones was ill,” van Gaal said. “I cannot put players who are ill and tired in my line-up.”
He added: “Victor Valdes also has a problem and wasn’t on the bench. I had to make three changes during our final day of preparation.”
Striker Robin van Persie (ankle) missed out against Sunderland are is unlikely to be available against Newcastle too.