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Football: Ref's Rooney call was right - managers

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

David Moyes and Malky Mackay both believe referee Neil Swarbrick was right not to send off Wayne Rooney during Sunday's high-octane Premier League clash at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Rooney was shown a yellow card by Swarbrick in the seventh minute of Manchester United's 2-2 draw in south Wales, after appearing to aim a kick at the Cardiff midfielder Jordon Mutch.

Following the game, former Liverpool and Scotland midfielder Graeme Souness said on Sky Sports Rooney should have been given his marching orders. "I don't know what Wayne is thinking of. He's got an exploding head, we know that. That's just born out frustration.

"He should be off, there's no argument. Why the ref has given him a yellow card is beyond me. He's got a great view of it, he's keeping up with the incident all the time. If he's booked him, he's seen something. If he sees that, it's a sending off."

However, the reaction from the two managers was anything but as damning.

Mackay, who was no shrinking violet during his playing career with Celtic, Norwich, Watford and West Ham, said: "I have looked at it again and some referees might have sent him off.

"However, I thought overall, Neil Swarbrick had a good game and I think he handled it well. I think we saw two teams who were tough and committed and there were some tasty challenges throughout the whole game. But I thought his handling of the game was excellent."

Moyes said; "I thought Mutch ran across his path and runs down the line of the ball. I think Wayne's half in motion and I don't think it is anymore than a booking, that's for sure."

Moyes did leave the Welsh capital bemoaning the stoppage time equaliser from South Korean midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung.

With United set to scoop a fourth successive league win, Kim stooped to convert Peter Wittingham's 91st minute free kick.

He said; "I'm disappointed. It was similar to the game against Southampton where we had the game under control with a minute to go and conceded from a set-piece.

"Overall, I thought we could have played better. But this is a tough place to come for teams. I would have taken a result however it came. But it wasn't to be."

Moyes was a little more surprised with the decision by Swarbrick not to penalise Cardiff's Chilean midfielder Gary Medel for what appeared to be a slap in the face on Marouane Fellaini as Whittingham prepared to take the free kick that led to Kim's goal.

"He must have seen something because he stopped the game for something. More important, was the fact that we lost our concentration.

"They had already delivered the free kick in, so Peter Whittingham has his sighter for the second one. I thought we lost concentration with it more than anything at that point."

United took the lead through Rooney in the 15th minute and after Fraizer Campbell bit the hand that once fed him, with an equaliser in the 34th minute, Patrice Evra restored the lead with a header from Rooney's corner, in first half stoppage time.

It looked plain sailing for United after that until Kim popped up to snatch a point.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131124/football-refs-rooney-call-was-right-managers