[QODLink]
Football
United restore five-point margin
It was an easy day at the office for Manchester United as Ferguson's men thrash Aston Villa to increase lead at top.
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2012 18:30
Rooney and co made light work of Aston Villa as they boosted their title hopes [AFP]

Wayne Rooney fired Manchester United five points clear at the top of the Premier League as his double inspired a 4-0 rout of Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Rooney opened the scoring with an early penalty and Danny Welbeck increased United's lead before half-time.

England forward Rooney bagged his 31st goal of the season in the second half before Nani's late goal sealed a crucial victory.

"We weren't thinking about City's result. The pressure is always on us, from within, from the fans, the manager, the pressure to win is always there"

Rio Ferdinand

With the help of Rooney's brace, Alex Ferguson's men were able to reestablish a significant lead over title rivals Manchester City with four games left to play.

After their shock midweek defeat at Wigan, and City's 6-1 demolition of Norwich on Saturday, this was the perfect response from United.

"Wednesday was a blip, we just didn't turn up but today we put in a good performance," said United defender Rio Ferdinand.

"We weren't thinking about City's result. The pressure is always on us, from within, from the fans, the manager, the pressure to win is always there.

"We played some good football today with some nice one-touch football. We want to win every game. We don't care where we win the title - it could be in the garden, as long as we win it."

Young offender?

Sunday's win, however, came laced with controversy.

Last Sunday, United winger Ashley Young earned a penalty and got QPR's Shaun Derry sent off in process when he fell under minimal contact from the midfielder in a 2-0 win.

And the England international was involved in another controversial incident against Villa when he appeared to exaggerate his fall after Ciaran Clark stuck out his leg in the penalty area in the seventh minute.

Referee Mark Halsey gave the penalty and Rooney calmly stroked home the spot-kick.

The champions increased their lead in the 43rd minute when Welbeck slid in to score after Villa defenders James Collins and Nathan Baker failed to clear Patrice Evra's low cross.

Rooney made it 3-0 when his close-range effort deflected in off Collins in the 73rd minute and Portugal winger Nani concluded an emphatic victory with the fourth goal in stoppage-time.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list