[QODLink]
Football

United continue title charge

English leaders in a confident mood as rivals Manchester City look to get back to winning ways in weekend EPL action.
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2012 16:45
City manager Roberto Mancini was unimpressed after his side struggled to create clear chances in their 1-0 defeat at Sunderland [GALLO/GETTY]

Manchester United's knack of scoring late goals was evident again with a thrilling Boxing Day victory over Newcastle and match winner Javier Hernandez warned there would be no let-up in their quest to regain the English Premier League title.

United came from behind three times before the Mexican struck in the last minute to secure a 4-3 Old Trafford victory, moving Alex Ferguson's side seven points clear of rivals Manchester City who lost at Sunderland.

Manager Alex Ferguson labelled it a "championship winning performance" at the midway point of the season but Hernandez cautioned against complacency.

Confidence booster

United led City by five points with four matches remaining last season but were pipped to the title by Roberto Mancini's side on a thrilling final day.

 

Weekend fixtures

Saturday 29 December

Sunderland v Tottenham
Aston Villa v Wigan
Fulham v Swansea
Man Utd v West Brom
Norwich v Man City
Reading v West Ham
Stoke v Southampton
Arsenal v Newcastle

Sunday 30 December

Everton v Chelsea
QPR v Liverpool

"It's a great position but we're not going to think we have already done the job," Hernandez told the club's website.

"This gap is going to give us a lot of confidence, but we want to just try to do the same in every game: win and get three points."

United host high-flying West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday but will be without key striker Wayne Rooney who has been ruled out of action for two or three weeks with a knee injury.

City travel to Norwich City looking to get back on track following a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland.

"We need to change something in our team because we can't continue like this - we score too few goals," said Mancini, who remains unfazed about the gap to United.

"Seven, six or four points, it doesn't matter the season is long. United concede a lot of goals but they score a lot so they have a chance but we can recover points."

Goalkeeper Joe Hart said City had the firepower required to make up the deficit.

"We've had leads, United have had the lead - it's to-ing and fro-ing at the moment," Hart told the club's website.

"We're a team of winners, it's hard and it hurts but we've got to move on. It is hard to lead and it is hard to chase too.

We've clawed points back before, we proved it at the end of last year - we've just got to believe."

Chelsea third

Lurking behind City are European champions Chelsea, who have a game in hand and play away at in-form Everton on Sunday.

Chelsea have hit form under interim manager Rafael Benitez after following up their 8-0 demolition of Aston Villa by winning 1-0 at Norwich on Wednesday.

Tottenham Hotspur could move three points ahead of Everton and West Brom in the race for fourth when they travel to Sunderland on Saturday.

Arsenal, currently seventh but also with a game in hand after their Boxing Day fixture against West Ham United was postponed on December 19, take on Newcastle later on Saturday.

Bottom club Queens Park Rangers host Liverpool on Sunday while Reading, also on 10 points but with a superior goal difference, welcome West Ham on Saturday.

618

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.