Rooney scored United’s third goal against Tottenham
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney made front page headlines for all the wrong reasons on Sunday, but he responded in the grand manner by delivering a pre-match rallying cry to his team-mates before they thumped Tottenham 3-0.
Rooney was subjected to an unwanted set of headlines after apparently being knocked out by former team-mate Phil Bardsley during a sparring session in the kitchen of his Cheshire mansion.
The video was the talk of the airwaves and social media outlets on Sunday morning, but the England and United captain did not seem perturbed by the episode and scored a fine goal in the rout against Spurs before celebrating with a fine display of shadow-boxing in the corner.
After the match, Rooney's team-mate Marouane Fellaini revealed the captain had delivered a rousing speech to the squad on the eve of the game – and it clearly worked.
"It was a very important speech," the United midfielder told the BBC.
Manager Louis van Gaal knew his captain had given the speech, but was unable to witness it himself as it was in a players-only meeting.
"I was aware of (the speech)," Van Gaal said. "The players know this game was of massive importance so I think a captain has to do something to help the players or help the manager or help the club. I was very pleased.
"I was not in the meeting because the captain has his own privileges."
Van Gaal would not be drawn into giving his opinions on the story when asked in his post-match press conference.
"I think it is a ridiculous world where we live that I have to answer questions (like that)," the Dutchman said.
"What is this world, twisted? I don't want to answer questions about such things."
Watch Rooney's reaction to the publication of the video below: