The Netherlands international made a match-changing mistake at Stamford Bridge but the striker has defended his team-mate, while lauding the ability of David De Gea
The Netherlands international – a late substitute at Stamford Bridge – misplaced a simple pass to Morgan Schneiderlin during a swift United break, and Chelsea subsequently launched an attack of their own, with Costa able to round David De Gea and slot home to snatch a point.
The incident drew scathing criticism from some fans and compounded what has been a miserable few months for Depay, in which he has lost his place in Louis van Gaal’s side following some disappointing performances.
But Rooney has refused to lay the blame squarely at the 21-year-old’s feet, saying: “I think we’re all disappointed.
“Memphis is a fantastic player and that happens, we all give bad passes away. A lot of things happened from when you give the ball away to when they’ve scored the goal, so I don’t think we can stand here and blame Memphis.
“I think there were other things which happened and why they’ve scored.”
Jesse Lingard had given United the lead with a smart turn and finish just past the hour mark but the visitors failed to hold off the heavy Chelsea pressure in the closing stages, despite dominating parts of the game.
Van Gaal later criticised his players for failing to maintain their composure in defence, and Rooney admits that they invited too much pressure onto themselves after opening the scoring.
“The game was broken up a bit, we gave too many free-kicks away and then we couldn’t get up the pitch,” he said.
“But with Chelsea, at times it’s difficult, because they pushed players up front and they didn’t really play with any system, so it’s difficult to work out how to defend against them.
“It’s a disappointing result in the end. I thought it was a good performance, I thought we played some nice stuff, it feels like a defeat in the end.
“We’ve performed well and played some good stuff again but, overall, it’s at this stage of the season that results matter and we’ve dropped two points.”
United could have lost in the dying seconds but for a fine De Gea save to deny Costa, and Rooney has hailed the performance of the Spain goalkeeper.
“David again made some incredible saves,” Rooney added.
“I’ve said before he’s probably the best goalkeeper in the world the last few seasons and again he’s made some important saves today to keep it at 1-0, but unfortunately the goal at the end has got them a draw.”
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