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Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Sunday, 14 March 2010

Man Utd   3 - 0   Fulham

Wayne Rooney scored twice at Old Trafford as his brilliant form continued
Rooney scored with two low strikes as his great form continued

By Paul Fletcher

Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United beat Fulham to move two points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Rooney, who saw a long-range strike saved in the opening 45 minutes, slotted home from 12 yards after just 30 seconds of the second half.

Mark Schwarzer denied Darren Fletcher but Rooney sealed the points with a low strike across goal after superb approach work from Dimitar Berbatov.

A teasing cross from Ji-Sung Park was then headed home by Berbatov.

Fulham might have defeated United 3-0 at home in December but Roy Hodgson's team had precious few sights of goal at Old Trafford - and the result ensured their miserable run away from Craven Cottage in the Premier League continued.

606: DEBATE
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Fulham's last league away win was at struggling Portsmouth on the opening day of the season - but with a Europa League match against Juventus and an FA Cup quarter-final looming, their priorities currently lie elsewhere.

United's defeat at Craven Cottage remains their heaviest of the season but in the return contest Sir Alex Ferguson's team dominated territory and possession - and created the vast majority of the game's decent chances.

Berbatov was selected to start alongside the in-form Rooney and linked play effectively as United repeatedly carved open their opponents backline as they increased the pressure on Arsenal and Chelsea, although Carlo Ancelotti's team have a game in hand.

More to come from Rooney - Phelan

Nani was sent clear down the left flank after intelligent play from Berbatov before delivering a teasing cross that the unmarked Bulgarian, who had drifted into the Fulham area, headed wide at the near post.

Berbatov also saw a shot blocked, while Rooney was inches away from connecting with a cross into the box, forced a good save with a crisp low strike and should perhaps have been awarded a penalty after Stephen Kelly appeared to prevent him from jumping to head a cross.

But occasional good fortune and obdurate defending ensured that Fulham got through to the break without conceding.

Hodgson gracious after defeat at Man Utd

Hodgson's team had shown precious little in attack but a brilliant dipping strike from long distance by Clint Dempsey almost caught out Edwin van der Sar.

And Bobby Zamora, looking for his ninth goal of the Premier League season, failed to hit the target with an ambitious volley after a long ball forward from Danny Murphy.

But Fulham's chances of completing a first league double over United receded when Ferguson's team scored exactly 30 seconds after the restart.

Rooney slipped the ball out to the heavily involved Nani and was allowed to drift into space inside the Fulham area to collect the return pass and slot home his 24th goal of the Premier League season.

Schwarzer spilled a shot from Nani as United looked for a decisive second, while Fulham somehow cleared the ball after a goal-mouth scramble, Rio Ferdinand hooked the ball just wide from a corner and Berbatov again headed wide.

Modest Rooney happy with second half

United, who play Liverpool and Chelsea in their next two Premier League home fixtures, were almost punished for their profligacy when a neat flick from substitute Erik Nevland sent Zamora through on goal but Nemanja Vidic did superbly to make a crucial block.

Schwarzer brilliantly denied Darren Fletcher with a one-handed save but could not prevent Rooney from scoring with a low strike across goal after brilliant approach work down the right by Berbatov had created the opening.

And United's dominance resulted in Berbatov scoring the goal his performance merited, with the striker finally hitting the target from six yards.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man Utd 3-0 Fulham FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Rooney 46
  • Rooney 84
  • Berbatov 89

    Man Utd

    Substitutes

    Fulham

    Substitutes

    Ref: JonesAtt: 75,207
    MAN UTD
    FULHAM

    Possession

    • Man Utd 68%
    • Fulham 32%

    Attempts on target

    • Man Utd 19
    • Fulham 5

    Attempts off target

    • Man Utd 14
    • Fulham 3

    Corners

    • Man Utd 11
    • Fulham 1

    Fouls

    • Man Utd 7
    • Fulham 11
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:45 The match has reached full-time.
    • 90:00+3:03 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Kelly.
    • 90:00+1:25 Jonathan Greening challenges Ji-Sung Park unfairly and gives away a free kick. Rio Ferdinand restarts play with the free kick.
    • 90:00+0:46 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Jonathan Greening.
    • 89:42 Foul by Fabio Da Silva on Damien Duff, free kick awarded. Jonathan Greening takes the direct free kick.
    • 88:18 The assist for the goal came from Ji-Sung Park.
    • 88:18 GOAL - Dimitar BerbatovMan Utd 3 - 0 Fulham Dimitar Berbatov finds the back of the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Man Utd 3-0 Fulham.
    • 88:16 The ball is sent over by Ji-Sung Park,
    • 87:40 Unfair challenge on Nemanja Vidic by Bobby Zamora results in a free kick. Nemanja Vidic takes the free kick.
    • 86:36 Substitution Fabio Da Silva joins the action as a substitute, replacing Gary Neville.
    • 84:56 Corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani from the left by-line, Nicky Shorey makes a clearance.
    • 84:50 Ji-Sung Park sends in a cross, Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.
    • 84:44 Ji-Sung Park produces a cross, blocked by Danny Murphy.
    • 83:13 Assist by Dimitar Berbatov.
    • 83:13 GOAL - Wayne RooneyMan Utd 2 - 0 Fulham Wayne Rooney finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 2-0 Fulham.
    • 82:52 Wayne Rooney challenges Stephen Kelly unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.
    • 81:46 Darren Fletcher takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Luis Nani. Shot from long distance by Gary Neville goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 80:05 Effort from the edge of the penalty area by Patrice Evra goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 78:43 Centre by Ji-Sung Park, Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Dimitar Berbatov misses to the right of the target.
    • 77:47 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ji-Sung Park by Zoltan Gera. Patrice Evra takes the free kick.
    • 76:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Greening on Darren Fletcher. Luis Nani has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
    • 75:12 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Carrick by Erik Nevland. Free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 74:08 Bobby Zamora takes a shot. Nemanja Vidic gets a block in.
    • 73:25 The ball is crossed by Gary Neville, Headed effort on goal by Wayne Rooney from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
    • 72:39 Substitution Ji-Sung Park is brought on as a substitute for Antonio Valencia.
    • 71:11 Substitution Erik Nevland comes on in place of Clinton Dempsey.
    • 70:07 Unfair challenge on Clinton Dempsey by Michael Carrick results in a free kick. Nicky Shorey restarts play with the free kick.
    • 69:44 The ball is delivered by Luis Nani, save by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 66:34 Centre by Antonio Valencia, Effort from the edge of the box by Dimitar Berbatov goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 65:09 Antonio Valencia takes a outswinging corner to the near post, Effort from deep inside the area by Rio Ferdinand clears the bar.
    • 64:36 Handball by Bobby Zamora. Edwin Van der Sar takes the free kick.
    • 64:04 The ball is swung over by Patrice Evra.
    • 63:05 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani played to the near post, clearance made by Bobby Zamora.
    • 62:51 Patrice Evra produces a cross, Stephen Kelly gets a block in.
    • 61:43 Substitution Jonathan Greening comes on in place of Brede Hangeland.
    • 61:43 Shot from outside the box by Patrice Evra goes wide right of the target.
    • 61:14 The ball is delivered by Antonio Valencia, blocked by Damien Duff.
    • 60:38 The referee blows for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Mark Schwarzer takes the indirect free kick.
    • 59:46 Luis Nani takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.
    • 59:09 The ball is crossed by Gary Neville, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.
    • 56:51 Unfair challenge on Brede Hangeland by Dimitar Berbatov results in a free kick. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
    • 56:14 Direct free kick taken by Rio Ferdinand.
    • 56:14 Booking Caution for Danny Murphy.
    • 56:09 Danny Murphy concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Carrick.
    • 55:16 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Aaron Hughes.
    • 54:14 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani played to the near post, clearance made by Bobby Zamora.
    • 53:49 Gary Neville crosses the ball, Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 52:09 Luis Nani takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 51:33 Foul by Danny Murphy on Wayne Rooney, free kick awarded. Michael Carrick takes the free kick.
    • 51:08 A cross is delivered by Darren Fletcher, Nicky Shorey makes a clearance.
    • 49:37 The ball is delivered by Chris Baird, clearance by Nemanja Vidic.
    • 49:05 Clinton Dempsey fouled by Michael Carrick, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
    • 48:34 Damien Duff takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 47:42 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Baird by Dimitar Berbatov. Aaron Hughes restarts play with the free kick.
    • 47:06 Centre by Gary Neville, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
    • 45:28 The assist for the goal came from Luis Nani.
    • 45:28 GOAL - Wayne RooneyMan Utd 1 - 0 Fulham Wayne Rooney finds the net with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd 1-0 Fulham.
    • 45:26 Luis Nani crosses the ball,
    • 45:01 The second half begins.
    • 45:01 Substitution Damien Duff comes on in place of Simon Davies.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:36 The ref blows to signal half-time.
    • 44:55 Patrice Evra fouled by Danny Murphy, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Luis Nani, clearance by Simon Davies.
    • 43:38 Long distance shot from Wayne Rooney misses to the left of the target.
    • 42:21 Free kick taken by Nicky Shorey.
    • 42:21 Booking The referee shows Antonio Valencia a yellow card.
    • 42:11 Unfair challenge on Clinton Dempsey by Antonio Valencia results in a free kick.
    • 41:30 Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Aaron Hughes gets a block in. Luis Nani takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in. Luis Nani takes the inswinging corner, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.
    • 41:00 The offside flag is raised against Bobby Zamora. Indirect free kick taken by Nemanja Vidic.
    • 40:10 Centre by Gary Neville.
    • 38:06 A cross is delivered by Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick takes a shot. Chris Baird gets a block in.
    • 37:11 Effort on goal by Bobby Zamora from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
    • 36:37 Luis Nani takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 36:08 Corner taken by Antonio Valencia, clearance by Brede Hangeland.
    • 35:29 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Brede Hangeland. Inswinging corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line, Chris Baird manages to make a clearance.
    • 34:35 Luis Nani crosses the ball, Darren Fletcher takes a shot. Chris Baird gets a block in.
    • 34:01 Clinton Dempsey takes a shot. Comfortable save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 33:33 Luis Nani crosses the ball, Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 31:37 Luis Nani takes a shot. Stephen Kelly gets a block in.
    • 30:12 Shot from a long way out by Michael Carrick goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 29:29 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 27:42 The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, Chris Baird makes a clearance.
    • 24:05 The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, Dimitar Berbatov has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.
    • 22:07 The referee blows for offside. Mark Schwarzer takes the indirect free kick.
    • 21:50 A cross is delivered by Wayne Rooney, blocked by Nicky Shorey.
    • 21:21 Corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani from the left by-line, clearance by Stephen Kelly.
    • 21:16 A cross is delivered by Gary Neville, clearance by Stephen Kelly.
    • 20:20 Zoltan Gera challenges Dimitar Berbatov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darren Fletcher restarts play with the free kick.
    • 19:27 Corner taken right-footed by Antonio Valencia, Dimitar Berbatov has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 18:45 Zoltan Gera concedes a free kick for a foul on Patrice Evra. Luis Nani crosses the ball in from the free kick, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.
    • 17:30 Stephen Kelly sends in a cross. The assistant referee flags for offside against Bobby Zamora. Indirect free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 14:50 Danny Murphy takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Carrick.
    • 14:15 Zoltan Gera takes a shot. Blocked by Darren Fletcher. Inswinging corner taken by Simon Davies, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 13:09 Shot by Clinton Dempsey from a long way out goes over the net.
    • 9:08 Bobby Zamora concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Carrick. Nemanja Vidic restarts play with the free kick.
    • 7:16 The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, Close range headed effort by Dimitar Berbatov goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 5:05 Centre by Bobby Zamora.
    • 3:35 Inswinging corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line, Chris Baird manages to make a clearance.
    • 3:25 Luis Nani sends in a cross, Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.
    • 2:54 Chris Baird sends in a cross, Rio Ferdinand makes a clearance.
    • 2:46 Centre by Zoltan Gera, Rio Ferdinand manages to make a clearance.
    • 1:58 Luis Nani takes a shot. Blocked by Danny Murphy.
    • 1:39 Clinton Dempsey has a drilled shot. Save made by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 0:00 The match gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League results

    14 Mar 2010 23:59 UK


    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 14 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 30 46 66
    2 Chelsea 29 42 64
    3 Arsenal 30 38 64
    4 Tottenham 29 25 52
    5 Man City 28 17 50
    6 Liverpool 29 16 48
    7 Aston Villa 27 16 46
    8 Birmingham 29 -1 44
    9 Everton 29 4 42
    10 Fulham 29 0 38
    11 Stoke 29 -5 36
    12 Blackburn 29 -17 34
    13 Bolton 30 -18 32
    14 Sunderland 29 -8 31
    15 Wigan 29 -30 28
    16 West Ham 29 -12 27
    17 Wolves 29 -24 27
    18 Burnley 30 -32 24
    19 Hull 29 -34 24
    20 Portsmouth 28 -23 19

    see also
    Ferguson predicts tightest finish
    14 Mar 10 |  Man Utd
    Premier League as it happened
    14 Mar 10 |  Football
    Sunday's football photos
    14 Mar 10 |  Football



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