Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Manchester United beat West Brom 2-0 at home to retain its seven-point lead atop English soccer’s Premier League, while 10-man Manchester City held on to win 4-3 at Norwich.
Gareth McAuley deflected in a cross by United’s Ashley Young in the 9th minute for an own goal, and then substitute Robin van Persie finished the scoring in the 90th minute at Old Trafford. United manager Alex Ferguson rested forward Wayne Rooney and striker Javier Hernandez for the match.
“We’re in a good position,” Ferguson said in a broadcast interview. “We’re halfway there. We’ve a game on Tuesday away from home at Wigan and we’ve got a few players to freshen it up. We’ll look forward to the next game and try and win it.”
City led the entire game after taking a 2-0 lead in the fourth minute with two Edin Dzeko goals, although Norwich came back to pressure the defending champions after City forward Samir Nasri was dismissed for an attempted headbutt. The hosts got two goals from Russell Martin and one from Anthony Pilkington.
“With 10 men, it was difficult,” City manager Roberto Mancini said in a broadcast interview. “The guys played very well.”
Tottenham got two second-half goals to come back to win 2-1 at Sunderland to move into third place. The hosts led 1-0 after 40 minutes on captain John O’Shea’s goal. Tottenham got back into the match when Carlos Cuellar headed in an own-goal in the 48th minute, and Aaron Lennon scored three minutes later.
Wigan won 3-0 at Aston Villa, Swansea beat Fulham 2-1 in London, and Reading defeated West Ham 1-0 at home. Stoke came back from 3-1 down at half to draw 3-3 at home with Southampton.
Arsenal hosts Newcastle in the last game of the day.
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