Wednesday, January 14, 2009

United closes in but Rooney injured

Manchester United has beaten Wigan 1-0 at Old Trafford to move within two points of Premier League leader Liverpool, but the triumph was marred by a hamstring injury sustained by Wayne Rooney.

Steve Bruce's side rode into the Theatre of Dreams on the back of a run of six wins in its previous seven league matches, but United needed less than a minute to puncture the visitors confidence.

Dimitar Berbatov's superb pass sent Cristiano Ronaldo away on the right and the World Player of the Year's low cross was flicked on by Michael Carrick to leave Rooney with a simple tap-in.

That was to prove enough to secure all three points but another hugely positive evening for Sir Alex Ferguson's side was marred by the sight of Rooney limping off only seven minutes after he had scored.

Ferguson confirmed Rooney will be out for around three weeks.

"It is a hamstring injury. That will be about three weeks. We hope it is no longer," he said.

"Carlos Tevez came on and did fantasically for us then he got injured.

"It was a test of our character for the last half hour because it was an absolutely brilliant performance by Wigan."

The win means United will go top of the table for the first time this season if can beat Bolton at the Reebok Stadium this weekend.

Liverpool does not play its next match until Tuesday morning's (AEDT) Merseyside derby clash with Everton at Anfield.

Wigan remained in seventh place as United kept a clean sheet for a ninth successive league match.

Shortly before kick-off Wigan rejected a 10 million pounds bid from Tottenham Hotspur for Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios.

"When the big boys start circling and coming and nicking your players, unfortunately if they pay enough they are always going to get their own way," Bruce said.

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