English Premiership

Man Utd bounce back in style

2011-12-10 19:10
Wayne Rooney (File)

Manchester - Nani and Wayne Rooney scored two goals each as Manchester United bounced back from their Champions League exit with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Wolves at Old Trafford here on Saturday.

United failed to reach the knock-out phase of European club football's premier tournament for just the third time when they were beaten 2-1 by Basel in midweek.

Alex Ferguson had described it as a "black week" for the club but they responded with a win that left them just two points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City, who travel to Chelsea on Monday.

United had not scored more than once in the Premier League since their 2-0 win over Norwich on October 1.

But that unwanted record was ended in emphatic fashion while Rooney's double ensured he avoided a personal 'worst' of nine Premier League games without a goal.

Nani put United ahead in the 17th minute and Rooney scored a second 10 minutes later.

Steven Fletcher halved the deficit with his 11th in 16 matches just after half time but Nani restored the lead before Rooney added United's fourth.

Wolves came into the game on the back of a miserable run of five consecutive defeats away from home but they were the first to threaten a goal.

Republic of Ireland forward Kevin Doyle broke down the right and clipped a pass across for Fletcher, whose drive flew just wide.
But United were soon on the offensive, with Patrice Evra sending over a clever cross from the left that was allowed to run across Wolves' six-yard line.

England striker Rooney, whose international ban was reduced by one match on appeal last week, was unlucky to see his attempted chip glance off Christophe Berra's face into the hands of Wayne Hennessey.

Michael Carrick went even closer when he was picked out by Antonio Valencia's cross from the right and thumped a diving header just past the top corner.

Rooney had a curling effort held low down by Hennessey and was then thwarted by the Welsh goalkeeper again after he was played through by Carrick.

But United moved in front when Nani was allowed to cut in from the left and find the bottom corner from just outside the area with his sixth goal of the season.

Rooney added a second goal himself when he was fed by Nani and made a yard of space to drill a low shot past Hennessey from just outside the area.

And Rooney came close to stretching the lead further when he was picked out by Danny Welbeck and produced a low shot pushed wide by Hennessey.

Welbeck also threatened just before the interval with a curling shot that glanced wide off Roger Johnson, while Nani was also denied by Hennessey.

But Wolves responded just over a minute after the restart.

Matthew Jarvis found space on the left and sent over a looping cross that Fletcher met with a firm header to beat United keeper David de Gea.

Jarvis soon worked another opening with another fine cross from the left but Fletcher could not find the power to trouble de Gea for a second time.

United should have restored their two-goal advantage when a clever cross from Phil Jones picked out Welbeck but the England international could not guide the ball on target.

But the hosts did manage to score a third in the 56th minute when Nani turned in Valencia’s accurate cross six yards out before Rooney completed his double just after the hour mark.

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