Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester United - Stamford Bridge
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney scores his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot. Press Association

Garth Crooks has lavished praise on Manchester United star Wayne Rooney following the striker's brace from the penalty spot against Chelsea on Sunday.

The England international was the catalyst during Manchester United's scintillating comeback against Chelsea at the weekend, when his calmness under pressure from the penalty spot, on two separate occasions, allowed the defending champions to narrow the deficit prior to Javier Hernandez's late equaliser.

The aforementioned football pundit, who is a regular on Football Focus on Saturday's, believes the Manchester United star displayed all the hallmarks of a big game player.

Rooney's first penalty was a thunderous strike into the top right-hand corner, while his second was calmly slotted into the opposite corner and Crooks believes the Manchester United talisman's assurance in key moments enabled Sir Alex Ferguson's side to claw their way back into the game.

"Two penalties, two goals." Crooks told the BBC while analysing Rooney's performance at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. "The big players tend to handle the big moments better than anyone else, especially when you're facing one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Petr Cech.

"At no stage was he fazed and on both spot-kicks he gave the Chelsea captain no chance of saving his team. A masterclass of coolness under pressure."

Rooney's courage was perhaps even more commendable given the fact that the Manchester United forward had missed his last two spot-kicks.

Although Ferguson recently suggested he would leave it up to Rooney about whether or not he should take the next Manchester United penalty, the striker suggested he never considered forsaking the responsibility.

"I have missed my last two penalties, but the manager asked me if I wanted to continue taking them and there was no doubt in my mind I would." Rooney told the Manchester Evening News. "I am a confident player and have been practising penalties for the last two or three years now since becoming the penalty taker.

"There was no doubt in my mind I was going to score."

Rooney's brace at Stamford Bridge made Manchester United the first side in Premier League history to score four consecutive penalties, following Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov's efforts against Stoke on Tuesday.