Ferguson was present as Rooney, who celebrates his 28th birthday this week, slalomed through the visiting side's defence in the second minute of a thrilling European tie.
And while what proved to be the winning goal was turned into his own net by
Sat in the directors' box, Ferguson would surely have approved, even more so near the end when UEFA said Rooney had run over 10 kilometres - well above the team average, underlining exactly how much work he has been doing.
The Scot would have been less happy at the sight of his old team passing up so many chances to seal the win.
Rooney had four more opportunities, and
So, if Antoine Griezmann or
The result means United now has seven points, just three short of the number Ferguson always felt guaranteed qualification for the last 16.
In this troubled start to his tenure, it is a welcome position for