The contents of referee Mark Clattenburg’s report will be unveiled by the Football Association on Monday morning.
If Rooney ends up facing a violent conduct charge, the north-east official will have to come up with a plausible explanation why he gave a free-kick for an incident he did not see.
Even then, the United striker could be free to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night if he decides to appeal against a charge, which Clattenburg’s own decision not to even book Rooney makes entirely possible, even if it raises the possibility of an extra match suspension for a frivolous appeal.
At the very least, it brings uncertainty United could do without ahead of one of their most important matches of the season.
Chelsea might be 15 points behind the Premier League leaders now.
However, as Edwin van der Sar acknowledges, they will be desperate to win, not just to maintain an outside chance of retaining their crown, but to claim a significant scalp in an otherwise difficult season.
“They will be looking for our scalp,” said the veteran Dutchman. “We would be the same in their situation. We know they will be eager to beat us, that is obvious.”
United know victory would end Chelsea’s title hopes, whilst striking a significant psychological blow on Arsenal in the wake of their shock Carling Cup defeat.
Not that Van der Sar is taking anything for granted in this strangest of seasons.
After all, it is not that long ago that Chelsea were five points clear and apparently ready to stroll to glory once more.
“The fact we overturned their lead does also serve as a reminder that it can be done to us,” said Van der Sar.
“It is better to be on top but four points is not a lot with 11 games to play.
“There are still 33 points to be had, so you can’t get too far ahead of yourself.
“Chelsea are a little behind points wise but you know who your closest competitor is and you have to stay in front of them.”
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