Louis van Gaal addresses Wayne Rooney red card

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford on September 14, 2014
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Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says that there was no malice in the challenge that earned Wayne Rooney a red card against West Ham United.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has insisted that there was no malice in the challenge that earned Wayne Rooney a red card during his side's 2-1 win against West Ham United.

The England forward was sent off for going in on Stewart Downing with a high boot, but the Dutchman claims that the foul was unintentional.

"It was a break out of a set play of ours and he makes a professional foul, I think you can call it like that. I don't think Wayne wanted to do it that way, but he did it, and you can give a red card," BBC Sport quotes him as saying.

Van Gaal went on to praise his defence, singling out Luke Shaw, who has been struggling with his fitness, and youngster Paddy McNair for plaudits.

"Luke Shaw was always injured but now I could play with him for 90 minutes. He had a little cramp and it was amazing he lasted 90 minutes. Also, Paddy McNair played a very good match and I'm very pleased for him that we won," he added.

"The rhythm of the game is very high. You cannot compare it with Germany and Spain. There is always pressure on the ball. Most of the English teams play physically. We have to keep the ball more easily and then we can improve our play."

The result leaves United in seventh place in the Premier League table.

Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester on September 27, 2014
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