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Wayne Rooney expects Chelsea to challenge Man United

Wayne Rooney
England striker Rooney has struggled for United goals since March last year

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney said Chelsea are capable of pushing his team all the way in the title race.

The Blues are 10 points behind leaders United in the Premier League but have won their last three games and spent £70m on Fernando Torres and David Luiz.

"We certainly haven't written Chelsea off," stated Rooney, who scored twice in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Aston Villa.

"They are a big, strong side and we know if anyone is capable of going on a run it is them."

He added: "But we know it's up to us where the title goes and I hope we can win it."

Defending champions Chelsea have already lost six times this season and looked to have fallen out of contention after a dismal sequence of one win in nine games.

Nani proud of 'unbeatable' Man Utd

But the Blues appear to have turned the corner with wins over Blackburn, Bolton and Sunderland, and can take further motivation from the fact that they still have to play United home and away.

Meanwhile, Rooney hopes his double in the win over Aston Villa will be the start of a run of rich goal-scoring form.

Prior to the game, the 25-year-old England star had managed only two goals in the Premier League this season.

"I have been happy with my play but obviously I want to score," he stated.

"As a striker you want to score goals but I have been happy with my performances, apart from the Blackpool match last week."

He continued: "I am delighted to have scored and hopefully I can go on a run now and help the team to win games."


Rooney struck a brilliant opener in the first minute against Villa when he was found by a clearance from United keeper Edwin van der Sar and finished in style.

The forward later slotted in from a Nani cross to take his tally to four in the league this season.

"I have had a few chances off Edwin," Rooney added. "It is something we have been trying for the past few years. It was a great ball by him and thankfully I was able to put it away.

"It was also a great ball from Nani. That is something he can do really well and it would be great to see him do more of it.

Man Utd were brilliant - Houllier

"He has got great dribbling skills but he is also a great crosser of a ball. If he mixes that up he will be really difficult for defenders to mark."

Darren Bent pulled a goal back for Villa to make it 2-1 but a Nemanja Vidic strike restored United's two-goal advantage.

Villa boss Gerard Houllier conceded his team were beaten by the better side and warned that United will be a tougher proposition in the title race with an in-form Rooney.

"Wayne Rooney was the difference. He was awesome," Frenchman Houllier reflected.

"But we have helped his confidence. What he needed was a goal. We gave him one. He took it very well."

"They have managed to win a lot of games and remain unbeaten without him. With him, wow.

"He was on top of his game today. He had everything. He can control, turn, twist, play the pass. He defends, he works hard. It was an example for what kids should do - the work rate and link play, everything."

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see also
Man Utd 3-1 Aston Villa
01 Feb 11 |  Premier League
Nani proud of Man Utd unbeaten run
01 Feb 11 |  Manchester United
Man Utd were brilliant - Houllier
01 Feb 11 |  Aston Villa

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