Manchester United Tops Premier League as Archrival City Loses at Swansea

Manchester United leads English soccer’s Premier League after a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion as archrival Manchester City lost 1-0 at Swansea City.

Wayne Rooney got both goals at Old Trafford today for defending champion United, which moves one point clear of City after Luke Moore scored as Swansea won at the Liberty Stadium.

“The City defeat was a bonus I didn’t expect but I am happy to be top because only a few weeks ago we were seven points behind them,” United manager Alex Ferguson told reporters.

United has 67 points from 28 matches, City remains on 66, with Tottenham, which lost 1-0 loss at Everton yesterday, on 53. Chelsea is tied on 49 points with fourth-place Arsenal.

Norwich City tied 1-1 against last-place Wigan in today’s other match.

United, aiming for a record-extending 20th league title and 13th since the inception of the Premier League, has now won four straight league games. City’s defeat was its first in five league matches.

West Brom wasted an opportunity to take an early lead at United when Keith Andrews poked an effort wide as he slid in to make contact with a cross from Liam Ridgewell.

Goalkeeper Ben Foster then saved from United winger Ashley Young and Rooney fired over the bar from long range. United keeper David de Gea made a save at the other end of the field, diving to turn wide a low shot from Andrews.

Opening Goal

Rooney had another opportunity before grabbing the opening goal on 35 minutes. The England striker touched in from a cross by Javier Hernandez.

The home team started to take control, with Hernandez hitting a post and Rooney testing Foster with an overhead kick.

West Brom then had defender Jonas Olsson red-carded after 66 minutes and five minutes later Rooney secured the win from a penalty kick awarded for a foul by Andrews on Young.

Manchester City suffered only its fourth league defeat of the season -- all of which have been in away matches.

A headed goal from Moore on 83 minutes settled the match, soon after he entered the field as a substitute.

Swansea missed a chance to take an eighth-minute lead after England goalkeeper Joe Hart fouled Wayne Routledge. Scott Sinclair took the spot kick, but Hart dived to his right to keep the ball out of the net.

Attacking Change

City was struggling to test the Swansea defense and manager Roberto Mancini made a change in the 37th minute, bringing on striker Sergio Aguero for midfielder Gareth Barry.

Aguero fired wide early in the second half and Micah Richards had an effort stopped by Michel Vorm, while Steven Caulker headed across goal for Swansea.

The goal came after Yaya Toure lost possession in midfield. Routledge crossed the ball and Moore headed past Hart.

Vorm then denied Kolo Toure and Edin Dzeko, and City had a goal ruled out for offside when Richards netted. Swansea also had a late chance, but Sinclair was unable to find the net as Hart rushed back toward his goal.

“There are 10 games to go, and it’s important we start to score and win again,” Mancini told City’s website. “Some players may be tired after seven months of the season, but I think we have a lot of energy to get back to the top.”

Norwich ended a run of three successive defeats as it tied against Wigan. Wes Hoolahan scored at Carrow Road for the hosts, with Victor Moses earning Wigan a point.

In yesterday games, Chelsea defeated Stoke City 1-0, while Sunderland beat Liverpool 1-0. Blackburn won 2-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Bolton beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1, and Aston Villa defeated Fulham 1-0. Arsenal hosts Newcastle tomorrow.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at jcone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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