Football / Reading-Chelsea, Arsenal-Liverpool matches drawn

Wayne Rooney’s double helped Manchester United restore its seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League as it came from behind to beat Southampton 2-1 at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Southampton took a shock third minute lead when Michael Carrick's poor back-pass saw Jay Rodriguez dispossess United goalkeeper David de Gea before he rolled the ball into the net.

However, United was only behind for five minutes with Rooney equalising after he was played in by Shinji Kagawa.

The England striker made it 2-1 from a yard out in the 27th minute after a Robin van Persie free-kick was headed back across goal by Patrice Evra.

Chelsea blew a 2-0 lead as Reading climbed out of the bottom three after ‘supersub’ Adam Le Fondre scored two late goals in a 2-2 draw.

The Blues, held to a draw by third-tier Brentford in the FA Cup, had to wait until first-half stoppage-time before taking the lead at the Madejski Stadium, with a neat pass from Fernando Torres setting up his fellow Spaniard Juan Mata.

Lampard strikes

Frank Lampard, repeatedly linked with a move away from Chelsea despite impressing yet again this term, made it 2-0 in the 66th minute when he rose above the Royals’ defence to head in a corner.

But Le Fondre increased the pressure on Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez with two well-struck goals in the final three minutes.

Arsenal also came from 2-0 behind at home to Liverpool to force a 2-2 draw that did little for the top four ambitions of either club.

The results: Arsenal 2 (Giroud 64, Walcott 67) drew with Liverpool 2 (Suarez 5, Henderson 60); Everton 2 (Baines 29, 45-pen) bt West Bromwich Albion 1 (Long 65); Fulham 3 (Berbatov 10, Rodallega 49, O'Brien 90-og) bt West Ham 1 (Nolan 48); Manchester United 2 (Rooney 8, 27) bt Southampton 1 (Rodriguez 3); Norwich 1 (Hoolahan 32) drew with Tottenham 1 (Bale 80); Reading 2 (Le Fondre 87, 90) drew with Chelsea 2 (Mata 45, Lampard 66). — AFP

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