United win to go seven clear

A Wayne Rooney brace saw Manchester United come from behind to beat Southampton 2-1 and move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Last Updated: 31/01/13 at 15:31 Post Comment

Wayne Rooney: Notched first-half brace as United beat Southampton

Wayne Rooney: Notched first-half brace as United beat Southampton

Jay Rodriguez gave the Saints a shock third-minute lead when he latched onto a poor back pass from Michael Carrick to tuck home around the advancing David De Gea.

But Rooney levelled just five minutes later, slotting into the bottom corner following an excellent through ball from Shinji Kagawa.

Kagawa then hit a post on United's next attack and it took some excellent goalkeeping from Artur Boruc to keep the hosts at bay as returning Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck both threatened danger.

United finally doubled their advantage on 27 minutes when Patrice Evra climbed highest at the far post to meet Van Persie's free-kick, the France defender leaving Rooney with the easiest of tap-ins from barely a yard.

But the hosts were then forced to survive a second-half Southampton bombardment, with the visitors spending almost the entire second period camped in the United half.

Mauricio Pochettino's team pushed forward in search of a leveller, with substitute Adam Lallana having a significant influence as Rickie Lambert twice went close.

Briefly, United relieved the pressure, with Van Persie's goalbound header brilliantly saved by Boruc before the Dutchman had an effort ruled out from a Rooney cross for offside.

Southampton were soon back on the offensive, though, with De Gea producing an excellent flying save to turn away Lambert's free-kick.

Nemanja Vidic flung himself in the way of another Lambert piledriver before Rooney, who finished playing on the left as defensive cover for an overrun Evra, ensured the Saints' final assault got nowhere and his side kept the valuable three points.

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Position Team P GD PTS
1 Liverpool 34 51 77
2 Chelsea 34 42 75
3 Man City 33 54 71
4 Arsenal 34 18 67
5 Everton 34 21 66
6 Tottenham 34 0 60
7 Man Utd 33 18 57
8 Southampton 34 5 48
9 Newcastle 34 -14 46
10 Stoke City 34 -10 43
11 C Palace 34 -14 40
12 West Ham 34 -9 37
13 Hull City 33 -6 36
14 A Villa 33 -14 34
15 Swansea 34 -5 33
16 West Brom 33 -11 33
17 Norwich 34 -27 32
18 Fulham 34 -40 30
19 Cardiff 34 -34 29
20 Sunderland 33 -25 26

Updated Wed, 16 Apr 2014

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