Football: Rooney double lifts Man Utd
(CNN) — Manchester United bounced back from a painful European exit by keeping the pressure on English Premier League leaders Manchester City with a morale-boosting win on Saturday.
The 4-1 home victory against struggling Wolverhampton moved United to within two points of City, who visit Chelsea in a big test of both teams’ title ambitions on Monday.
Nani and Wayne Rooney both scored twice to help United move on from a week that saw last year’s finalists knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage for the first time since 2005-06.
“We will take a lot of stick from critics and even from people we thought were perhaps on our side,” manager Alex Ferguson said. “This was the right response. Some of the football was fantastic.”
The reigning champions had not scored more than one goal in a Premier League match since the 2-0 win over Norwich on October 1, but midfielder Nani broke the deadlock in the 17th minute with his sixth goal this season — and first since September 24 — as he found room to cut in from the left.
Brazil prepares for World Cup in 2014
England striker Rooney, whose international ban was cut to two matches last week, made it 2-0 10 minutes later to end his eight-match barren spell in the league after combining with the Portugal star.
Wolves pulled a goal back through striker Steven Fletcher straight after the halftime break — the header from Matthew Jarvis’ cross being his 11th score in 16 matches this season.
Man Utd captain to miss rest of season
But Antonio Valencia set up Nani from close range in the 56th minute, and the winger also laid on Rooney’s 11th this season just after the hour to leave Wolves hovering above the relegation zone.
Arsenal moved above Chelsea into fourth place with a 1-0 win at home to Everton to mark the London club’s 125th birthday.
Robin van Persie continued his hot scoring run with a spectacular volleyed winner in the 70th minute, putting him one short of Thierry Henry’s club best of 34 league goals in a calendar year for Arsenal — and two behind Alan Shearer’s overall record.
The Gunners climbed into the Champions League qualification places for the first time this season after a seventh win in eight games, while Everton dropped to 12th.
Liverpool claimed sixth place on goal difference with a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, breaking a run of four home draws.
Striker Luis Suarezshrugged off his latest disciplinary charge — for making an offensive gesture to Fulham fans on Monday — by scoring his first goal since October 1.
The Uruguay forward, also facing charges over allegedly racial remarks made to Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, headed home Charlie Adam’s cross soon after the halftime break for his fifth league strike.
Newcastle also have 26 points after losing 4-2 at promoted Norwich, who climbed to ninth place.
Grant Holt headed two second-half goals, while midfielder Wes Houlahan and striker Steve Morison also netted either side of the break.
Demba Ba took his tally to 11 in 10 league games with a breakaway goal just before halftime and a 71st-minute penalty, but the Magpies continued to slide down the table after a third defeat in four outings.
Aston Villa moved up to eighth, ahead of Norwich on goal difference, with a 2-1 victory that put Bolton bottom of the table.
Marc Albrighton and Stiliyan Petrov, with a deflected long-range effort, scored in the first half for Villa while the hosts rallied in the second through Ivan Klasnic.
Swansea took 11th place with a 2-0 win at home to Fulham, leapfrogging the London side.
U.S. international Clint Dempsey had a nightmare match as he deflected in Scott Sincklair’s 56th-minute opener and had a penalty saved before striker Danny Graham sealed it in injury time with his fifth goal in eight games.
Wigan moved off the bottom and out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion, the club’s second successive triumph on the road.
Steven Reid’s first-half free-kick put West Brom ahead, but Victor Moses leveled soon after, and Jordi Gomez’s 57th-minute penalty put Wigan two points behind Wolves.
Share this on:
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SportRipplesWeb/~3/wG9jtNO8bxw/
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RipleysStuff/~3/Mb4ToruY4YM/