Rooney gives Man U win, lead in Premier League

English superstar striker Wayne Rooney notched another net-stinger in the 42nd minute Monday against Fulham in a 1-0 win for Rooney’s Manchester United squad. The goal lifted Man U three points ahead of its main competition for the Premier League title, Manchester City. Rooney’s most recent heroics have Man U sitting at 23-3-4 for 73 points, and that with just eight matches remaining in the league season. Man U is aiming to add its 20th Premier League trophy to its mantle, while rival City seeks its first championship since 1968. The road looks promising for the heavy historical favorites, but City, at 22-4-4, still has a chance left to knock Man U down a notch, as the second-place team hosts Man U on April 30.

“It’s a good position to be in, but it’s not decisive. It’s a good game for us tonight. That’s what it will be like for us for the rest of the season,” said Man U manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The goal was Rooney’s 21st of the league year, and came as a result of John Arne Riise’s inability to clear an Ashley Young corner. Man U’s Jonny Evans then corralled the loose ball and pushed it back across the net to Rooney, who blasted the ball from just outside the six-yard line. Rooney now has nine nettings in his last 11 games.

Fulham didn’t go down without a fight, however. Mark Schwarzer, capably filling the net for Fulham, stonewalled Young and his fellow Man U teammate Antonio Valencia on promising attempts in the second half. Fulham also made some runs at evening up the score in the last 10 minutes of the match, but ultimately could not put the ball in the back of the net. Man U’s Michael Carrick gave Fulham perhaps its best chance at scoring when he knocked over Danny Murphy inside the penalty box, but the referee, Michael Oliver, failed to make the call.

“I think everyone in the stadium expected a penalty, to be honest. But you have to be brave to give a penalty at Old Trafford,’ said a cheeky Fulham manager Martin Jol after the match.