But he had made little impact and Ferguson's move paid dividends in a game where United had struggled to unlock a stubborn Besiktas side.
United knew a hostile reception at the Inonu Stadium would await them and the fanatical fans did not disappoint with incessant noise wading down from the stands.
It was a tough test for last year's Champions League finalists as Besiktas were also keen to appease their passionate supporters following a 3-0 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Galatasaray last weekend.
Ferguson initially opted to use Rooney as a lone striker with left-winger Nani and Antonio Valencia, on the right, providing the width in a five-man midfield.
Valencia in particular was having joy as he gave left-back Ibrahim Kas a torrid time with his pace and trickery.
But the work-rate and resolute defending of the rest of a Besiktas team which defended in numbers limited the danger.
United for the most part were forced to resort to speculative long-range shots, with Rooney dragging an effort wide and Carrick seeing an effort comfortably gathered by Arikan.
Besiktas had failed to find the net in their last three games and looked like a team short on confidence and ideas when going forward, especially in the final third.
But they did come close to catching United out on a rare foray forward when the visitors' defence backed off as Ozkan ran on goal and his 22-yard shot fizzed just over via a deflection off Evans' thigh.
United were given a sight of goal when a cross caused panic in the Besiktas area but Carrick rushed his close-range shot straight at Arikan.
And Arikan could do no more than find Scholes when he blocked Nani's shot, the United midfielder taking full advantage to get United's European campaign off to the perfect start.
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