Rooney on target

2009-02-19 07:13

London - Wayne Rooney scored on his return from injury as champions Manchester United crushed Fulham 3-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday to surge five points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.

The England striker, back in action after a month out with a hamstring injury, came on as a 61st minute substitute and scored from close range with his first touch of the game barely two minutes later to send United 3-0 up.

Paul Scholes had volleyed United into the lead off a Michael Carrick corner in the 12th minute, with Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer getting down to the shot only for the ball to bobble over the line.

Dimitar Berbatov then doubled the tally 17 minutes later with a tap in.

United now have 59 points to Liverpool's 54 and third placed Aston Villa's 51 after 25 matches. Chelsea, their title chances dismissed by United manager Alex Ferguson in the pre-match programme, are fourth on 49 with 13 games remaining.

Fulham, who have yet to win away from home in the league this season, remained in 10th place with 30 points from 24 games.

"Getting the early goal always helps at home and it opened the game for us," Ferguson told Sky Sports television.

"We didn't take any risks with Wayne," he added after United's ninth straight league win.

"At this stage of the season we cannot take any risks. We had to make sure he was 100%. I could have played him on Sunday but I felt wait a few days and we'll get the dividends of that...and we got that tonight."

Berbatov, who made way for Rooney after the break, also had a shot cleared off the line in the 18th minute and another headed effort ruled offside on the stroke of half-time.

With United in complete control, Fulham never looked like troubling their former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar who took his record unbeaten run to 14 successive league games dating back to defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on November 8.

United slowed the pace after Rooney's goal and Fulham, with two more games to come before the week is out, seemed content to play along.

The visitors' best chance came when Bobby Zamora poked a shot narrowly wide in the 66th.

"It's hard to come back from a blow like that," Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said of Scholes' opener. "Throughout the game I thought United played superbly.

"I think this is one where we just have to accept defeat gracefully, congratulate the better team on the three points and to make certain it doesn't do any lasting damage.


  • Philip du Plessis - 2009-02-19 07:45

    I see that fat lady is busy clearing all frogs in her throat, about time she starts warming up with a note or two. After this season no Liverpool supporter can ever again say ...We won it more times than you... But we can say ...We are gonna win it more times than you.... Up the Red Devils!!!!

  • Selwyn - 2009-02-19 07:45

    Up and away they go, heading and remaining at the top. Fooitog, Liverfools are now defending Rafael saying he is doing a good job while he is unsure if his contract will be renewed, well if that is they way HE feels and he has never won the Premier title with him at the helm says a lot. If he was consistent then he would maybe win but he is not and my feeling is that he will be replaced. Not many good one's out there so i feel they should keep him which will gaurantee" Fools" will never win. ManU is consistent, might loose a season but then jump right back to win the next, besides i see the double, treble or q......... coming up. Well tried Liverfools but you guys just not cut out this season. Has beens tried but no cigar, hurts like hell i know.

  • Nash - 2009-02-19 08:56

    13 games left and the fat lady starts clearing her troat.... eyoh remember remember the 16th of May

  • the kop - 2009-02-19 09:00

    Selwyn let me tell you something which might enlighten your low intellect abt football.When SIS Fergie took over as Man Benders Utd manager,it took him six seasons to win anything…rafa has won,fa cup,league cup and champions league.since 2004.So you and your fellow benders can say what you want abt LFC. Rafa has had a better start to his EPL career than Fergie had……

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-19 09:02

    glory glory man utd

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-19 09:09

    I know many Man u supporters who doesnt know who their left or right backs are

  • pamo - 2009-02-19 09:35

    We always saving the best for last!!! WORLD CLUB CHAMPIONS what more?

  • Nazeem - 2009-02-19 09:41

    My dear Mr Kop, No present OR past premiership manager can even be mentioned in the same sentence, let alone come close to being compared with the levels of achievement and talent of Sir Alex Ferguson.. There is a reason why he is dubbed the greatest manager in football history.. I do though understand that Liverpool supporters are trying to find something, ANYTHING to argue their ever weakening case in the 'whose best in football' debate... You guys are starting to sound like Niehaus's lawyer.... Take heart though that your BS will baffle someone's brains.... :-)

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-19 09:47

    WOW!!! 1 fa cup 1 league cup and 1 champs league how could the United faithfull ever compete with that??? no premier league? Fools should only enter Knockout competitions (no consistency) !!! Dont nag about how long it took Fergie to win anything when he first started bcos Rafa will NEVER EVER EVER EVER be as brilliant as him! Rafa should just pack it up cos now theres no hope of them catching the in-form Devils!!! fair enuf he has had a better start to his carrer in england but i reckon he wont be around for long bcos the club and supporters demand results which seem to be few and far between these days at LFC! i reckon come the end of the season we'll be saying goodbye to Rafa! GLORY GLORY MAN UNITED!!!

  • the kop - 2009-02-19 10:04

    Nazeem there you go again with your dumb facts.fergie is good no doubt.but Sir Bill Shankly was the best and forever will be... R.I.P again i say when fergie goes man utd will go down hill as well.......

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-19 10:11

    thats rite Nazeem!!! Sir Alex is the Greatest!!! to ''the kop'' when was the last time Fools won the English Premier League? record 18 titles soon to be a thing of the past! Oh and since your intellect on football is so excellent why dont you tell me the total number of trophies that each side has won in all competitions?

  • the kop - 2009-02-19 10:16

    Anonymous User 2/19/2009 9:47 AM- took utd over 20yrs you get all your talking abt 5seasons rafa has been at lfc...... go to school and get an education....

  • the kop - 2009-02-19 10:22

    Anonymous User 2/19/2009 9:47 AM- took utd over 20yrs you get all your talking abt 5seasons rafa has been at lfc...... go to school and get an education....

  • Koketso - 2009-02-19 10:43

    The fat lady is prepare herself now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ayobanes Manunited. clearly liverpool are walking alone FOOLSTOP!

  • Philip du Plessis - 2009-02-19 11:09

    I wonder how Kop is going to motivate his floundering argument when 5 trophies are added at the end of the season. Ohhhh wait a seccie, our trophy cabinet even has space for a little bit of his inflated ego. No worries Kop, even if Real dont manage to take hold of your man, you still have Stevie G and El Torro, seeing that they are the only players that actually make up your team. Face it Kop, you need at least double the talent you have in your squad to make half the imact the Red Devils are making. Not sure what you will be saying when we take next season....

  • MAN U GO - 2009-02-19 11:10

    The Kop. You are a real hasbeen. Remember like anything in life it is the end result that count. Remember the following: You are only united if you never walk alone.

  • Selwyn - 2009-02-19 11:13

    Hey KOP, only cowards hide behide pseudonyms like you do. I may have a low intellect but i have at least. You have none because if you read WHAT I SAID, is that Rafael has NEVER won PREMIER league. There i have spelt it out for you and as Nazeem and the rest of British football has stated that Fergie is the best manager of all times. And on top of it there is a lot more trophies headed our way. You'll never walk alone in Liverpool because they'll bliksem you there.

  • Red Devil for life. - 2009-02-19 11:52

    KOP, FACE IT. LIVERPOOL WILL NEVER BE UNITED. GET IT? Take it anyway you want. You stuffed up and lost momentum. Soccer is played on the field, with the feet, not the mouth. You'd know that if you ever played the game. Come on my man. Give it up for Man U and Sir Alex true champions (world, UEFA, PREMIER and FA). Do that and RAFA can be crowned as one of the best. Till then shut the F*** UP.

  • james - 2009-02-19 12:02


  • Red Devil for life. - 2009-02-19 12:11

    THE KOP! YOU SPEAKING ABOUT RAFA AS IF HE HAS ACHIEVED ANYTHING REMOTELY RESEMBLING THAT OF WHICH SIR ALEX HAS. But anyway! As most of us soccer lovers know, soccer is played on the field, with the foot and not the mouth. History is just repeating itself. Liverpool shines in opening stages of the league and loses momentum. CONSISTENCY OLD CHAP!! as my fellow supporter has said: "You are only united if you never walk alone" Liverpool will never be UNITED! Get it?

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-19 12:11

    so strange 1 guy can turn a man utd article into a lfc chat....typical man utd fans talk more abt liverpool than their own team.shame......

  • Nazeem - 2009-02-19 12:49

    Gents, Mr Kop is on about what Rafa has done in five seasons at Liverpool... As impressive as that may be for a Liverpool supporter, we at Utd are though in a totally different league of achievements in that these days we accumulate the trophies in ONE season that others take, well... five seasons to do... At the end of the day, what Fergie has fogotten about football management Rafa is now just about learning... Kop in your and Liverpools defence, you sure can TALK a good game...

  • Keith - 2009-02-19 12:53

    To ALL Liverppool supporters!!!! All you and your team will ever be is "wannabees"!! Live with it and get used to it! That's just how it is. Sing as much as you like - you are and always have been out of tune with reality! Liverpool, at best, provude Man U with "live practice".

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-19 13:21

    Typical Liverpool fans, always all talk and no action... It's one thing saying that you have won the premiership 18 times, but how many players that won those titles are still playing??? I can name quite a few still playing that have won titles with Man Utd...

  • Steve - 2009-02-19 13:34

    I think Looserfool supporters spoke too soon, but i have to give credit to their board, at least they havent sacked Rafa yet, look at Chelski, after the special one left. Lets not talk about Division one Championships, on that front Looserfool are ahead, but then rules and things changed when the Premiership came into being and lets be honest United have ruled to roost. This season could be the 2nd hat-trick of Premiership titles, and its looking very likely. However we need some better competition not just Chelsea and Arsenal, Looserfool we shouldnt talk about we all know that their aim is to quailify for champions league (i.e. at least 4th and at best 2nd), just like Hull who fought relegation early in the season. You scoucers are walking alone, no title!! By the way most of you didnt even understand the rules of the game the last time Looserfool were last champions.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-19 14:09

    so true user @ 12.11. It's Feb & these Manure supporters celebrating like it's May, hehehe. Shame, @ least they have 1 thing right, we will never be Manure, WE HAVE MORE TROPHIES ANYWAY. even if they match our league titles this year, they will never beat it. and they will never catch our European record. Rafa took us to 2 CL finals in his 5 years. It took Slur Red Nose over 20 years to do the same, hehehe

  • Philip du Plessis - 2009-02-19 14:09

    So nice to see anonymous people come onto this block and hide behind that tickbox, then make derogitory remarks about the greatest team in English football. Anon 12:11, the only reason we discuss Liverfools is because they keep reminding us about how they won more League titles. So we want to make sure that this is erased from our memories. Besides, they just happened to be in second position (actually my smart money places Villa second at the end of the season), and therefore are the closest contenders. We could be ranting on and on about how magnificent, awesome, beautiful, amazing, awe inspiring and downright brilliant the ball is that Man U play, but that has been documented so many times, there is nothing new to write. And lets not forget that there is an added little spice called Old Trafford 14 March right around the corner. We wouldnt want Liverfools to say they have been whipped because they were letting up for the Champions League now would we. Seriously, that is the only trophy where I believe they can remotely claim to be even keel these days. One trophy after so much talk, sjoh their throats must be dry by now...

  • Nazeem - 2009-02-19 14:16

    Anonymous @ 12:11, why are you guys here commenting anyway?? Not much to say on your teams articles???? We're 5 pts clear of you has beens and in contention for three other trophies at the same time, in addition to already having won the WCC... These comments show just how much attention Utd are commanding at present. Put that in your pipe and smoke it...

  • Red Devil for life. - 2009-02-19 15:07

    Manchester United are exhibiting all the signs of the ‘swaggering’ champions at the moment. And I don’t mean they are arrogant, they are just in supreme form and look a class better than the rest. They are impenetrable at the back with the rock that is Vidic surrounded by other classy defenders, and last in that defensive line is a goalkeeper who has refused to be beaten in recent months. Anon @12.11. again, football is played not spoken chap. Catch up to the champs and we speak again. We are speaking about current soccer, not passed achievements that happened more then a decade ago.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-19 15:09

    Anonymous user @ 2:09 have some respect!!!! Slur Red rose, I mean seriously, are you still in primary school. Insulting the worlds greatest football manager is not gonna help your team win the league, so grow up!!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-19 16:10

    so sorry user @ 3.09pm. I agree, Fergie & Manure have done very well in the league in the last 2 decades. what their fans forget is that it took 2 disasters, which resulted in 'Pool getting banned from European competition (hence no big name players wanting to move to Anfield) & King Kenny also deciding to leave after that, that resulted in 'Pool's downfall & Manure's success. BUT, @ the start of the season, Rafa said all he wants this year is to challenge 4 the title, realistically admitting we might not win it. And even after his blunders, we r still fighting 4 2nd place at a min. And even in the bad years, we still managed to win EVERYTHING but the title. Things r lookings up again, hence after each Manure win, their fans feel the need to insult us due 2 the pressure :-)

  • Kevin - 2009-02-19 16:38

    Liverfools always saying they never walk alone ,the reason for this is because they always with Man Utd supporters. They should change the name of LFC to Stevie G FC.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-20 08:23

    Anon user @ 4:10, read your own post and then lets talk about insults. We don't need to insult you, your results speak for themselves. You insukt SIR Alex Ferguson, a man that has done more in his 20 years at Old Trafford then you would dream of doing in your life, jealous much, because after all, jealousy makes you nasty - and that goes for all Liverpool fans, BAD LOSERS!!!!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-20 09:17

    yeah Kevin, especially since we beat u guy's with Stevie G on the bench & Torres didn't even play. we have the best spine in the league : Reina (3 Golden Glove trophies in a row) - Carra (legend) - Masch (Captain of Argentina) / Alonso (why the Gunners r dying to get him) - Stevie G - El Nino. The problem is our full backs & wings compared to the other 3 of the big 4. But the reason we progressed this season is coz' of positive development in those areas (Riera/Kuyt/Benayoun/El Zhar/Babel/etc) - all fresh players with plenty development left. Did you Manure supporters know that we collected more points when Stevie & Torres didn't play compared to you guy's when Ronaldo & Rooney are injured ?!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-20 09:59

    user @ 4:10. we will see who will be under pressure when United go 8 points clear after beating Rovers this saturday! lets see how Loserfool handle the pressure when City visit them on sunday! United thrive under pressure whereas liverpool always start up well and then choke!!! concentrate on the league Loserpool its Only the cup you guys cant get knocked out of!!! come Champions league i reckon the boys from Madrid will have something special waitin for you!!!

  • Nazeem - 2009-02-20 11:25

    Anonymous user @9:17, you talk an even better game than The Kop, but pity that all your praise for your players isnt backed up by a room full of recently won trophies like the ones we have at Old Trafford.... Can we please rent some space in the Anfield trophy room seeing as how this year appears to be another silverware filled season for us??? I hear that despite the 18, rather old and rusty looking premier trophies and the UEFA champs cup won a couple of years ago amongst others, there seems to be lots of new space (for trophies you guys clearly are not going to win..) going to waste....

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-20 14:29

    Loserpool ?! Funny. But what's funnier is that Manure have lost double the amount of games we have so far ...

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