Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wayne Rooney double, Berbatov and Valencia great

Manchester United 3
- Rooney 38,
- Rooney 55,
- Owen 80

West Ham United 0

**Wayne Rooney took his goal tally to 27 for the season as Manchester United saw off West Ham to move to within a point of Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Dimitar Berbatov was a central figure in his team's stylish build-up play and whilst Valencia also caught the eye with a lively winger's performance, it was United's talisman Rooney who represented the gulf in class between the teams.

United take the lead through Rooney in sensational style. Berbatov lofts the ball to Valencia, who crosses first-time on the volley for the England striker his diving header into the corner of Robert Green's goal.

It would be churlish to exclude Dimitar Berbatov and Antonio Valencia from praise given the Bulgarian's excellent crossfield pass and an even better volleyed cross to get behind Spector.

In the 54th minute the host doubled their lead thanks to a second goal for Rooney, Berbatov released Valencia into the West Ham penalty area. Valencia's role cannot be overstated for both goals. It was another of his inviting crosses from which Rooney, has plenty of space and time to head in his 23rd league goal in 27 games.

A double change for United. Berbatov and Rooney are replaced by Michael Owen and Mame Biram Diouf.

That didn't take long, Scholes plays in Owen and he clips the ball past Green and in off the far post. Noble looks to be injured and was lying on the right touchline while that move developed.

It was Owen's eighth of the season, only one short of Berbatov's tally. A long way behind Rooney though. And the gap is going to get wider yet.

It was Owen's first Premier League goal since his dramatic late winner in September's Manchester derby, and yet again Capello was not there to witness it.

Team Lineup :

Manchester United: Foster; Vidic, Brown, Evra, Neville; Scholes, Anderson (Ji-Sung Park 19), Gibson, Valencia; Rooney (Diouf 78), Berbatov (Owen 78)

West Ham United: Green; Upson, Tomkins, Spector, Faubert; Noble, Kovac, Diamanti (Dyer 75), Behrami (Collison 63); Cole, Franco (Mido 46)


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