Latest Stories

Rooney goal helps United go 15 points clear


Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, top centre, is beaten to a ball by Norwich’s goalkeeper Mark Bunn during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

LONDON— Manchester United surged 15 points clear at the Premier League summit on Saturday, capitalizing on Manchester City losing at Everton by beating Reading to close in on a 20th English league title.

Wayne Rooney clinched an unconvincing 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Reading with a shot that deflected into the net off Alex Pearce in the 21st minute.

“We knew the three points was the most important thing today — especially after City dropped three points,” Rooney said.

With nine games to go, only a monumental collapse by United would now allow City to retain the trophy.

Even then, City would have to show more desire than at Everton on Saturday after the defending champions lost 2-0 despite having a man advantage for the final half hour.

United, though, appears to be unstoppable, especially with the defense not being breached for five successive league games.

“The players are conscious of the importance of the games now … you don’t get points and medals for being complacent,” United manager Alex Ferguson said. “And we won’t be.”

In the relegation fight, Reading is level on points with bottom-place Queens Park Rangers, which lost 3-2 at Aston Villa. Villa is only a place above the drop zone but six points clear of Wigan, which hosts Newcastle on Sunday.

Southampton is a point further ahead of Villa after beating Liverpool 3-1. Everton is three points ahead of Liverpool but was prevented from moving up to fifth by Arsenal beating Swansea 2-0.

Both Arsenal and Everton provided the perfect response to cup setbacks.

Arsenal’s title hopes ended for an eighth straight season on Wednesday by exiting the Champions League at Bayern Munich, while David Moyes’ hopes of a first trophy of his 11-year Everton reign were thwarted by an FA Cup quarterfinal collapse to Wigan last weekend.

Everton went ahead in the 32nd minute though Leon Osman’s bending strike, and City couldn’t take advantage of the hosts being reduced to 10 men on the hour when Steven Pienaar was sent off.

Carlos Tevez, James Milner and Pablo Zabaleta were denied by a succession of saves from Everton goalkeeper Jan Mucha.

City was aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty in the 86th when Tevez’s shot was blocked by Marouane Fellaini’s hand inside the area, only for the referee to award a free kick just outside instead.

Nikica Jelavic secured the win in stoppage time by completing a speedy counterattack by curling in Everton’s second goal.

“We have an obligation to win football matches between now and the end of the season, regardless of whether there is a points advantage or it is mathematically impossible (to win the title), which it isn’t at this moment,” City assistant manager David Platt said.

How Arsenal would relish being in City’s position now, seemingly assured of a top four finish to qualify for the Champions League.

The Gunners are only two points behind fourth place, but Chelsea is yet to play West Ham on Sunday.

Nacho Monreal set Arsenal on its way to victory in south Wales with his first goal since arriving in the January transfer window. The Spain defender lashed the ball beyond goalkeeper Michel Vorm with the help of a deflection off Ashley Williams in the 74th.

Gervinho wrapped up the win in stoppage time by slotting low into the net.

Swansea remains ninth in the standings, with a third successive season of Premier League football secured.

Villa, which has been in the topflight since 1988, boosted its hopes of avoiding the drop with eight games to go by edging out QPR.

Although Jermaine Jenas put QPR in front, through Gabriel Agbonlahor equalized on the stroke of halftime and Villa took the lead after the break through Andreas Weimann.

Andros Townsend pulled Harry Redknapp’s team level again in the 73rd but Christian Benteke struck the winner in the 81st.

Southampton remains clear of danger after ending Liverpool’s run of three successive wins.

Morgan Schneiderlin and Ricky Lambert netted for the south-coast team and, after Coutinho pulled one back before half time, Jay Rodriguez made the win certain in the 80th.

West Bromwich Albion went a point behind Liverpool, with the eight-place team drawing 0-0 at Stoke.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Arsenal , Liverpool , Premier League , QPR

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Magnitude 6.7 quake off British Columbia coast
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace