Rooney drought broken as United beat VillaBy DPA, IANS
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
LONDON - Wayne Rooney struck twice, doubling his tally in the league this season, as Manchester United beat Aston Villa 3-1 Tuesday.
United remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League table after Arsenal came from behind to beat Everton.
There had been doubts about Rooney’s form, but he struck within a minute, running onto a long Edwin van der Sar clearance and smashing a finish past Brad Friedel.
His second came just before half-time, Nani crossing and Rooney hammering in his finish.
Darren Bent pulled one back, but Rooney soon created a third for Manchester with a cross for Nemanja Vidic to score.
Louis Saha gave Everton the lead midway through the first half at Arsenal, finishing after being set through by Seamus Coleman.
Andrey Arshavin volleyed Arsenal level with 20 minutes remaining as Jack Rodwell, looking to clear, touched on a Cesc Fabregas through-ball. Five minutes later, Laurent Koscielny completed the turnaround by heading in from a corner.
“Tonight was a victory of a team with fantastic spirit and a never-say-die attitude rather than our usual game, but that is needed in this championship,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
There was controversy over Everton’s goal, which looked offside, and Everton manager David Moyes accused Fabregas of abusing the match officials in the tunnel after the game.
“If you had said it on the pitch, you should have been off like that, so what is the difference when you are coming down the tunnel?” he said.
“They were disappointing comments from someone who is such a talented footballer.”
Chelsea have a six-point cushion in fourth as they look to secure Champions League qualification after a 4-2 win at Sunderland.
It was 2-2 within 26 minutes at the Stadium of Light. Phil Bardsley put Sunderland ahead with a shot past an unsighted Petr Cech, but Frank Lampard levelled from the penalty spot after Ahmed Elmohamady had tripped Ashley Cole.
Salomon Kalou then gave Chelsea the lead having been laid in by Nicolas Anelka, but Sunderland levelled three minutes later, Kieran Richardson driving a free-kick under the wall.
John Terry, though, gave Chelsea the points with his second goal of the season, hammering in after Craig Gordon had saved from Lampard on the hour. Anelka added a late fourth.
The battle of the division’s two youngest managers, Roberto di Matteo and Roberto Martinez, finished level, West Bromwich Albion drawing 2-2 with Wigan Athletic.
Peter Odemwingie finished coolly to give West Brom a fifth-minute lead, but Charles N’Zogbia levelled with a deflected free-kick a quarter of an hour later.
Another free-kick gave Wigan the lead three minutes before half- time, Ben Watson whipping in an inswinger from the left that evaded everybody and crept in the far post.
West Brom had much the better of the second half, though, and had struck the post twice before Marc-Antoine Fortune headed the equaliser.
Martinez was disappointed his side failed to kill the game off.
“The hardest thing then is to get on level terms and get in front,” he told Sky Sports 2.
“We had two great opportunities and if we had got a third goal the game would be over and it would have been three points well deserved.”