Rooney headers help Man Utd to win over Milan
An entertaining game in which Milan started and ended strongly, missed a host of chances, took the lead, then paid the price for their profligacy by allowing United to go 3-1 in front.
But a dramatic last five minutes saw Milan give themselves hope by pulling a goal back, then seeing Michael Carrick dismissed in injury time for kicking the ball away and receiving a second yellow card.
United then endured a difficult period in which they were suspect in defence and punchless up front and were fortunate that Milan did not take their chances.
The leveller came in a bizarre way – Paul Scholes totally missed a volley, but the ball hit his standing foot and bobbled into goal.
Only after the hour mark did United click into gear and settle the match with two Rooney headers.
First the England striker rose above Daniele Bonera to expertly head home substitute Antonio Valencia's cross and then eight minutes later it was Milan's turn to have a defensive lapse and the former Everton man was allowed a free header for number three.
At this stage the Reds looked to be coasting against a demoralised Milan team until with five minutes remaining the Italians gave themselves a lifeline.
Ronaldinho crossed from the left and Clarence Seedorf cheekily flicked in Milan's second.
But United held out for an historic first win in the San Siro.