Villa squanders a golden opportunity against Fulham
LONDON: Wayne Rooney led 10-man Manchester United to a 1-0 victory over Manchester City on Sunday in a heated 150th derby that saw Cristiano Ronaldo sent off.
The England striker ended a six-week goal drought to ensure fame prevailed over fortune as the European and English champion took on its neighbour for the first time since Abu Dhabi royalty made City the wealthiest club in the world.
Rooney had been determined to show that United is the true ‘King of Manchester,’ and his 42nd-minute goal — his 100th in club football — proved decisive.
City goalkeeper Joe Hart spilled Michael Carrick’s shot from a tight angle, and Rooney was able to tap over into an unguarded net.
The Red Devils clung on to their slender advantage despite facing a far more assertive City side in the second half and playing the last 22 minutes a man down.
Ronaldo had been harshly booked for tripping Shaun Wright-Phillips in the 59th and then sarcastically applauding referee Howard Webb.
It proved costly when the Portugal star was shown a second yellow card for deliberately handling Rooney’s corner.
To chants of “cheat,” Ronaldo slowly trudged off the City of Manchester stadium pitch.
On Saturday, with none of the teams above it in action, Aston Villa blew a golden opportunity to consolidate its place in the top four when it was held to a goalless draw by a battling Fulham.
Ashley Young, who shot wide from close range, and Stiliyan Petrov, who headed an equally good chance over the bar, were guilty of squandering the best chances.
Elsewhere, it was a bleak day for Sunderland, beaten 4-1 at home by Bolton, while the north-east derby between Middlesbrough and Newcastle finished in a goalless stalemate.
Newcastle’s Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins came closest to breaking the deadlock in what was a sterile encounter, his first-half shot coming back off the crossbar.
Sunderland was booed off the pitch by its own supporters after a supine display against fellow struggler Bolton at the Stadium of Light.
Camara nets again
Senegal striker Henri Camara followed up his winner against Everton last week with another goal for Wigan as Steve Bruce’s side came from behind to overcome bottom side West Brom 2-1 at the JJB Stadium.
On Sunday: Manchester City 0 lost to Manchester United 1 (Rooney 42).
On Saturday: Aston Villa 0 drew with Fulham 0; Middlesbrough 0 drew with Newcastle 0; Stoke 1 (Fuller 73-pen) drew with Hull 1 (King 45); Sunderland 1 (Cisse 11) lost to Bolton 4 (Taylor 18, Cahill 21, Elmander 39, 55); Wigan 2 (Camara 61, Boyce 87) beat West Brom 1 (Miller 47). — Agencies