Man Utd increase gap for top spot

2011-02-12 18:36

Wayne Rooney produced a spectacular overhead kick to earn ­Manchester United a 2-1 victory over Manchester City and a seven-point lead in the Premier League yesterday.

The England striker, quiet for much of an intriguing derby, conjured an acrobatic 78th-minute volley that flew into the top corner to shatter City, who had looked more than capable of a rare victory at Old Trafford.

David Silva drew City level with a fortuitous goal midway through the second half after United had gone in front shortly before half-time with a well-taken Nani effort.

The result gave United 57 points from 26 games while second-placed Arsenal, who hosted Wolverhampton Wanderers later, had 50.

City’s title prospects are receding as they are now eight points behind the leaders, having played one game more.
 
City began the match in confident fashion and Silva should have scored in the opening minutes when he prodded a good chance fractionally wide of the post.
 
United struggled to gain a foothold, with Rooney a frustrated figure, although they did threaten when Darren Fletcher met a cross from Ryan Giggs and his header was saved by Joe Hart.

City were still the better side when they suffered a body blow four minutes before ­half-time.

Giggs played a first-time pass to Nani and the Portugal winger’s exquisite first touch took him clear of the lumbering Pablo Zabaleta before he calmly slid the ball past Hart.

It was tough on Roberto ­Mancini’s side, which showed far more verve than they did in the home 0-0 draw with United in November.

Mancini sent on £30-million (about R346-million) striker ­Edin Dzeko with half an hour remaining.

Almost immediately Dzeko made an impact when his shot from fellow substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips’s low cross deflected off Silva’s back and past helpless ’keeper Edwin van der Sar.
 
A City victory looked possible, but Rooney left them empty-handed with a goal of stunning quality that will rank as one of the best seen in a Manchester derby.

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