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Football

Man United open up seven point lead

Wayne Rooney scores twice for Premier League leaders Manchester United as Chelsea let victory slip through fingers.
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2013 22:51
Rooney celebrates scoring his second goal against Southampton as United continue great vein of form [Reuters]

Manchester United capitalised on Man City's recent draw to move seven points clear in the Premier League on Wednesday. 

It was hardly an inspirational victory but Red Devils' boss Alex Ferguson will be pleased with a massive three points after the 2-1 win over Southampton.

Closest rivals Man City could only manage a 1-1 draw with QPR on Tuesday, so United's ninth straight home win gives them an enviable lead over the pack.

Wayne Rooney struck both goals for United as they recovered from conceding an early goal.

Southampton had the temerity to score after three minutes through Jay Rodriguez but order was quickly restored with Rooney equalising five minutes later and completing the turnaround with a 27th-minute tap-in.

And Wednesday also brought a bit more magic to the Madejski Stadium.

Chelsea were cruising to a 2-0 victory against Reading, but conceded two late, and surprising, goals. The point moved Reading out of the relegation places and will provoke more soul searching from Chelsea fans, as they watch the reigning European champions stutter and stumble. 

Premier League Results

Wednesday January 30

 Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool
 Everton 2-1 West Brom 
 Norwich 1-1 Tottenham 
 Fulham 3-1 West Ham 
 Man Utd 2-1 Southampton
 Reading 2-2 Chelsea
 

The Blues went ahead through Juan Mata and midfielder-cum-striker Frank Lampard, but substitute Adam Le Fondre smacked in a late brace to shock the Chelsea contingent. 

Elsewhere, Arsenal also pulled two goals back against Liverpool to record a 2-2 draw at the Emirates.

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott quickly levelling out the scoreline after goals from Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson. 

The draw leaves sixth-placed Arsenal four points adrift of Tottenham in the fourth Champions League place, while Everton are three points ahead after beating West Brom Albion 2-1.

Liverpool remain three points behind Arsenal in seventh. 

Gareth Bale scored a stunning goal with ten minutes to go to give Tottenham a 1-1 draw at Norwich. However, Spurs fans are likely to be disappointed by a poor and lackluster performance. 

Everton are only a point behind Spurs as they continued their great run of form against West Brom. 

Leighton Baines scored two first-half goals to put the Toffees in the ascendancy with Shane Long heading in a consolation goal. 

Both teams hit the woodwork in a tense finish but Everton held on for another impressive victory while West Brom now have only one point from their last five Premier League matches. 

In the final game of the day, Fulham moved ahead of rivals West Ham by defeating them 3-1 at Craven Cottage. 

Goals for the Cottagers came from Dimitar Berbatov, Hugo Rodallega and Joey O'Brien while Kevin Nolan scored for the Hammers. 

On Saturday, Berbatov comes face-to-face with his former club Man United - in a much sterner task for Martin Jol's men.

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Source:
Agencies
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