Football

Rooney fires United to top as City stumbles

FLYING HIGH: Swansea’s Luke Moore heads home to stun Manchester City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

FLYING HIGH: Swansea’s Luke Moore heads home to stun Manchester City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.  

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Wayne Rooney fired Manchester United to the top of the Premier League as the champion defeated 10-man West Bromwich Albion 2-0 to take full advantage of Manchester City's shock 1-0 loss at Swansea on Sunday.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side secured its fourth successive league win thanks to a brace from England striker Rooney and that allowed the champion to move one point clear of bitter-rival City, which surrendered top spot when Luke Moore scored Swansea's winner with just seven minutes left at the Liberty Stadium.

At Old Trafford, United made a slow start and Albion midfielder Keith Andrews prodded wide from close-range before firing in a powerful drive that David de Gea did well to save. But the host gradually found its rhythm and took the lead in the 35th minute thanks to Rooney's 23rd goal of the season.

Paul Scholes picked out Javier Hernandez and the Mexican forward made an incisive run in the penalty area before flicking a cross towards Rooney, who was just onside as he diverted the ball past Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Albion's hopes of a comeback began to fade in the 66th minute when Swedish defender Jonas Olsson was sent off for a second booking after tripping Hernandez.

And Ferguson's team put the result beyond doubt when Rooney stroked home a penalty five minutes later after Andrews fouled Ashley Young.

Second reverse

United's success was made even sweeter by City's first defeat in five league matches and its second reverse of the week following a Europa League loss to Sporting Lisbon.

City just couldn't get into its stride and smooth-passing Swansea made it pay for some sloppy defending in the 83rd minute.

Stefan Savic gave the ball away and Routledge crossed for unmarked substitute Moore to head past Hart.

The results: Manchester United 2 (Rooney 35, 71-pen) bt West Brom 0; Swansea 1 (Moore 83) bt Manchester City 0; On Saturday: Everton 1 (Jelavic 22) bt Tottenham 0; Aston Villa 1 (Weimann 90) bt Fulham 0.

Chelsea 1 (Drogba 68) bt Stoke 0; Sunderland 1 (Bendtner 56) bt Liverpool 0; Wolves 0 lost to Blackburn 2 (Hoilett 43, 69).

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 7:02:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/rooney-fires-united-to-top-as-city-stumbles/article2985471.ece

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