LONDON – Wayne Rooney scored twice in a game for the first time in nearly 11 months, leading first-place Manchester United over Aston Villa 3-1 Tuesday night in the English Premier League.
Rooney, who has four league goals this season. scored in the first minute and in first-half injury time, his first two-goal game since March 14 against Fulham.
"Goals always help strikers," United manager Alex Ferguson said of Rooney. "He's always had a great appetite to play. It's inbred in the boy and he got his rewards eventually."
He beat American goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who at 39 years, 259 days became Aston Villa's oldest player, two days older than defender Ernest Callaghan when he played against Grimsby Town on April 12, 1947. Friedel extended his mark for consecutive Premier League appearances to 253.
Newly signed Darren Bent scored for Villa in the 58th, and Nemanja Vidic got the final goal in the 63rd.
United (15-0-9) maintained a five-point lead over second-place Arsenal (15-5-4), which rallied for a 2-1 win over visiting Everton (5-7-12). United matched a club record by extending its league unbeaten streak to 29.
A day after signing Fernando Torres from Liverpool for a transfer fee of 50 million pounds ($79.5 million), Chelsea (13-6-5) won 4-2 at Sunderland as Nicolas Anelka scored one goal and set up another up, and West Brom tied Wigan 2-2.
Torres could make his Chelsea debut Sunday against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Everton went ahead 1-0 at Arsenal when Louis Saha scored in the 24th minute, a goal referee Lee Mason allowed despite Saha being about 1 yard offside. Arsenal went ahead against American goalkeeper Tim Howard when Andrei Arshavin scored in the 70th minute and Laurent Koscielny in the 76th.
Everton manager David Moyes accused Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas of using unacceptable language toward the match officials while in the tunnel at halftime.
"Fabregas' comments to the officials coming down the tunnel warranted a sending off," Moyes said. "I'm not going to repeat what they were. Disappointing comments from someone who's such a talented footballer.
"If he had said it on the pitch, he would have been off like that," Moyes said, snapping his fingers.
At Sunderland, Phil Bardsley put the hosts ahead in the fourth minute, but Chelsea took a 2-1 lead when Frank Lampard converted a penalty kick in the 15th and Salomon Kalou scored in the 23rd after running onto Anelka's pass. Kieran Richardson tied it 2-2 in the 26th, but John Terry put the Blues ahead for good in the 60th and Anelka scored in the 90th.
MILAN (AP) — Lazio held first place AC Milan to a 0-0 tie on a foggy night at San Siro.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic came the closest to scoring, hitting both posts with a shot in the 51st minute.
Already without 12 players due to injury and suspension, Milan watched Daniele Bonera and newly signed Nicola Legrottaglie forced to exit early. Both players were taken to a hospital, with Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri saying Bonera has suspected head trauma and Legrottaglie suspected cervical trauma.
AC Milan (14-3-6) has a five-point lead over second-place Napoli (13-5-4), which is at Chievo Verona on Wednesday night. Third-place Lazio (12-6-5) is seven points out of first.
Juventus (9-5-8) visits Palermo on Wednesday and Inter Milan (11-5-5) is at Bari on Thursday.