Rooney opened the scoring from the spot after John O’Shea hauled down Radamel Falcao in the box and added a second late on by following up Adnan Januzaj’s parried effort.
It was a positive result for Man United but they were far below their best and were lucky to secure the victory.
Regardless, Rooney said the win is the most important thing as United bid to qualify for the Champions League this season.
Speaking about the game, Rooney said: ”It’s great to score but the three points are the most important thing after last week. We deserved the three points.
“We knew Sunderland would be dogged. They defended well, but we were patient. It was a good performance.
“The performance was good. We had a bit more space with the 10 men but we should have been ahead before that.
“I think there are a lot of teams in a good run of form and there’s not much difference between the top teams. We hope that, come the end of the season, we’re in the right position.”
The match was a disappointing one for United from an offensive point of view. Radamel Falcao was again anonymous, Angel di Maria was hauled off at half time and chances were few and far between.
Yet United got the win and Rooney is right in saying that is the most important thing. It is absolutely vital that the club qualify for Champions League football next season and Saturday’s victory was another step towards that.