Rooney puts United on top of the World
Manchester United 1 LDU Quito 0:Wayne Rooney grabbed the only goal as 10-man Manchester United were crowned kings of the world in Yokohama.
The European champions were always the dominant force in their Club World Cup Final with LDU Quito, even after Nemanja Vidic had been sent off.
And Rooney ensured the Red Devils got the reward they deserved when he curled home the winner 16 minutes from time after Cristiano Ronaldo had supplied the final pass.
It is the first time an English club have won the tournament in its expanded form and the second time United have been crowned best on the planet following their victory over Palmeiras in 1999.
Any doubt over the tactics Quito would use against the Champions League winners were dispelled inside the opening five minutes.
First Claudio Bieler waded into Ronaldo with a dangerous tackle that rightly brought a yellow card, then the Ecuador outfit camped in their own half, content to let United come to the edge of their box but no further, using whatever means they could to achieve it.
Rooney powered two thunderous efforts towards goal that Jose Cevallos managed to deal with, the first time convincingly, the second far less so.
From then on, Rooney was the link man as chances began to pile up.
Park Ji-sung was one culprit, driving an angled shot straight at Cevallos before lifting a close-range shot over the bar after Rafael had picked him out with a superb crossfield pass.
It was the type of opportunity that manager Alex Ferguson has been imploring the South Korean to take as he gets into similar positions so many times but for a poor net return.
The same could also be said of Carlos Tevez. Three times the Argentine found himself in sight of goal but on each occasion he was denied, Cevallos particularly impressive in pushing away a header guided towards the corner from Ronaldo's cross.
Four minutes after the restart Vidic was sent off on a straight red after catching Beiler with an elbow while the pair wrestled on the ground.
Yet Quito failed to press home the advantage of an extra man, Edwin van der Sar denying Alejandro Manso and William Araujo during sporadic attacks.
In contrast, even with 10 men, United kept pushing and 16 minutes from time duly received their reward.
Michael Carrick supplied a superb pass for Ronaldo, who instead of going for goal himself, fed Rooney to his left and his shot was precise and out of the reach of Cevallos.
Ferguson was full of praise for Rooney, who was named player of the tournament.
"He was man of the match, no question," said Ferguson. "He deserved it and was unlucky not to score two or three.
"It was a magnificent goal. I have seen him do that quite a lot. It was just another example of the ability he has."
Carlos Tevez was clearly unhappy at being sacrificed after Vidic was sent off. Although Ferguson could understand the South American's annoyance, he felt he had little option, even if there was an instant fear he had made a major blunder.
"Carlos Tevez was disappointed coming off but it was the only thing I could do," said Ferguson. "Then I was worried it might go to penalties and we had taken Tevez off.
"But Rooney has such great energy to play as an attacker and defend as a midfield player, it was the simplest thing to do."