Malky Mackay has praised Neil Swarbrick after the referee opted to show Wayne Rooney a yellow card rather than a red when the Manchester United forward kicked Jordon Mutch from behind in the 2-2 draw at Cardiff City on Sunday.

The Cardiff manager said: "I've had a look at it again on TV and some referees might have sent him off but I think Swarbrick was calm in his approach, had a good game and handled it well. Both teams were tough and committed and there were some tasty challenges and the referee's handling of it overall was good."

Rooney later tweeted after watching a replay of the incident. "Just watched game back. I agree mine was bad tackle and ref dealt with it."

In another incident Gary Medel slapped Marouane Fellaini but no card was produced and again both managers had no complaints. Mackay said: "I think the referee got it right on both counts."

David Moyes' team are now unbeaten in their past 10 matches in all competitions but he is looking for an improvement in Wednesday's Champions League tie away to Bayer Leverkusen after his team allowed Kim Bo-kyung to equalise in added on time.

"I'm disappointed," he said. "We were in control with a minute to go and conceded from a set piece which cost us two points. I thought we should have played better. We didn't have much rhythm in the second half but Cardiff is quite a tough place to come this season. But I would have liked us to be better."

Asked about the Rooney incident he said: "I thought Mutch ran across Wayne's path. I don't think it was anything more than a booking."

Of the overall situation for his team, the United manager added: "We're on a pretty good run but this is a blow because we can't keep dropping two points from winning positions like that. We should have won the game. We can play a lot better but we should have won."

The 41-year-old Mackay was not about to agree after a point that keeps his team two points above the relegation zone. He said: "I was delighted. The first half was our most complete performance of the season so far. Not just in the way we played but in the belief we showed against a team as good as Manchester United, the champions. I thought Steven Caulker and Ben Turner at the back were sublime, but it was a big performance from everyone and the goal at the end was thoroughly deserved on the strength of our play overall and the chances we had. We have shown that we can compete at this level and compete well."