Rooney: Shakhtar win vital

Rooney: Shakhtar win vital

Published Dec. 12, 2013 12:00 a.m. ET

Wayne Rooney admits it was imperative that Manchester United returned to winning ways on home soil against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Having come unstuck in successive Premier League outings at Old Trafford against Everton and Newcastle United, the Red Devils were able to avoid an unwanted piece of history on Tuesday.

Another setback against Shakhtar would have seen them condemned to three straight defeats in front of their own supporters for the first time since 1962.

A nervy display in their final outing in the UEFA Champions League group stage suggested the players, and manager David Moyes, were feeling the pressure.


A solitary strike from Phil Jones was enough to see them to a welcome victory, though, and safely through to the last-16 of Europe's premier club competition as group winners.

Rooney said in The Sun of the midweek success: "The most important thing was to get back to winning ways and top the group, so we've done that.

"It could have been better at times but it was win at all costs - after the last two games we knew it was vital.

"The campaign has been good this year in Europe so we just have to try and get consistency in all our games, whether it is Europe or the Premier League."

United head out on the road again on Sunday as they travel to Aston Villa, and Moyes is looking for his side to start replicating their European form in domestic contests.

The Scot said: "There is a different style and you can tell the players here are used to it. They are more than capable of playing at this level.

"They are also very comfortable in the Premier League, but at the moment they are not showing it."