Published December 01, 2012
Reading, England – Manchester United moved three points clear at the top of the Premiership on Saturday as Wayne Rooney scored two goals in a wild 4-3 United win over Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
All seven goals were scored in the first 34 minutes of the match, and United will now take its three-point lead into next Sunday's showdown at second-place Manchester City, while Reading remains second from the bottom and four points from safety.
It took only eight minutes for the scoring to get started and it was Reading that grabbed the lead on a volley from Hal Robson-Kanu after United defender Rio Ferdinand deflected the ball into his path.
Anderson leveled the match five minutes later for the visitors with a first- time shot that beat goalkeeper Adam Federici at his near post, while Jay Tabb gave away a penalty kick a few minutes after that when he bundled over United's Jonny Evans inside the area.
That allowed Rooney to fire United in front from the spot, but Reading came back with two goals in the span of four minutes to regain the lead, with both coming from corner kicks.
The first came from Adam Le Fondre six yards out, while Sean Morrison scored on a header from just about the same spot, exposing some terrible defending from the visitors.
Rooney was on target again on the half-hour mark to knot the game at 3-3 after a nice setup from Patrice Evra, and Rooney turned provider on the decisive goal in the 34th.
A clever flick from the striker put Robin van Persie in on goal, and the Dutchman cooly slotted the ball past Federici.
The pace slowed in the second half and United was able to see out the match to claim an eighth win in nine league games.
Manchester City 1, Everton 1
Manchester, England - Manchester City dropped three points back of Manchester United on Saturday after City was held to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium by Everton.
Marouane Fellaini continued his strong start to the season by scoring the opening goal for the Toffees in the 33rd minute when his header was saved by goalkeeper Joe Hart, but put in by Belgium international on the rebound.
Yet Fellaini was at fault to City netting the equalizer 10 minutes later when he pulled down City's Edin Dzeko inside the area, allowing Carlos Tevez to send goalkeeper Tim Howard the wrong way from the spot.
The home side dominated much of the second half but was unable to find the winning goal, which leaves Everton with seven draws from their last nine contests.
West Ham 3, Chelsea 1
London, England - Chelsea remained in third place on Saturday but saw its winless streak reach seven games as the club suffered a 3-1 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park.
Rafael Benitez's tenure at Chelsea has now yielded just two points from three games, despite the fact that Juan Mata's goal in the 13th minute had the Blues in front at halftime.
But West Ham took charge of things after the break and equalized in the 63rd minute through Carlton Cole, who nodded home a deflected cross from Matt Jarvis.
Cole had a hand in the go-ahead goal as well in the 86th minute when he laid a ball off for Mohamed Diame to smack past goalkeeper Petr Cech, who conceded another goal in stoppage time when he saved Matthew Taylor's shot but saw Modibo Maiga score on the rebound.
Swansea City 2, Arsenal 0
London, England - A pair of late goals from Michu saw Swansea City snatch a 2-0 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, pushing the Gunners further down the table.
Arsenal has recorded only one win in its last five league matches and drops to 10th, while the Swans climb to seventh by extending their unbeaten streak to six games.
The home side was well below its best on Saturday and Swansea finally made its advantage count in the 88th minute when Michu played a one-two with substitute Luke Moore to break in behind the Arsenal defense and slot his shot past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
And Michu added another in stoppage time to seal the win when he got on the other end of a long clearance and once again beat Szczesny for his 10th goal of the campaign.
Tottenham 3, Fulham 0
London, England - Tottenham won its third straight match on Saturday at Craven Cottage by scoring three times in the second half of a 3-0 triumph over Fulham.
The result moves Spurs into the top four and extends the winless run of Fulham to seven matches, pushing the Cottagers into the bottom half of the league.
Sandro tallied the first goal in the 55th minute when he found himself in space and wasn't properly closed out by the Fulham defense, allowing the Brazilian to lash a shot past goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and into the net after clipping the post.
Jermain Defoe then took over for the visitors to seal the win as he netted two goals in the last 20 minutes.
The first came in the 72nd when he was played through by Gylfi Sigurdsson, while the England international added another five minutes later from a nice through ball by former Fulham man Clint Dempsey.
Liverpool 1, Southampton 0
Liverpool, England - Daniel Agger's first goal of the season was enough to help Liverpool claim a 1-0 win over Southampton at Anfield on Saturday, giving the Reds their third home win of the campaign.
With only one win from their last six games, the hosts were in need of three points against a Southampton side in the bottom three.
And after a good period of pressure that failed to result in a goal, Agger headed Liverpool in front in the 43rd minute.
A free kick from Luis Suarez hit the crossbar, but Glen Johnson collected the loose ball and crossed it to the front of the net for Agger to head home.
QPR 1, Aston Villa 1
London, England - QPR's search for a first league win continues after the club was held to a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road by Aston Villa on Saturday.
The match marked QPR's first at home under new manager Harry Redknapp, but it started terribly for the hosts as Villa took the lead inside eight minutes.
Brett Holman found himself with room to unleash a shot from 25 yards that gave QPR goalkeeper Robert Green little chance, which had to have QPR fans fearing the worst.
However, the hosts found an equalizer 10 minutes later when Samba Diakite's cross was met by a nice looping header from Jamie Mackie, who leveled the match at 1-1.
Shaun Wright-Phillips hit the post for QPR before halftime, but a win for Redknapp's men remains elusive and they already face a seven-point deficit in the battle for safety.
Stoke City 1, West Bromwich 0
West Bromwich, England - West Bromwich lost its second successive match on Saturday as the Baggies dropped a 1-0 decision to Stoke City at The Hawthorns.
A run of four consecutive wins for West Brom had the club in the top four, but a 3-1 defeat to Swansea City on Wednesday and Saturday's loss have dropped the club to fifth.
The only goal came 15 minutes from time when a pair of substitutes were responsible for the Potters leaving with three points.
Michael Kightly took advantage of a giveaway in the West Brom end and delivered a low cross for Dean Whitehead to convert, giving Stoke 13 points from its last five games.