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Rooney double sees United extend lead

Wayne Rooney scored twice to cancel out Jay Rodriguez’s opener as Manchester United moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Southampton on Wednesday.

The leaders fell behind when Rodriguez made the most of a David de Gea error to open the scoring. Rooney summed up United’s comeback character with two first-half goals that made it nine in nine matches for the England striker.

But United had to endure a strong second-half performance from the visitors and some jittery moments in the closing stages to secure their victory.

 After emerging with credit from a goalless draw from his first game in charge against Everton, this was another performance full of positives for new Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino.


ARSENAL RALLY TO HOLD LIVERPOOL


Two goals in the space of three minutes allowed Arsenal to share the points in a 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday. Liverpool had appeared on course for a memorable victory after Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson had both taken advantage of some terrible defending by the home side. But Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott were both on target directly after the hour mark.


BAINES GETS EVERTON GOING

Leighton Baines scored twice as Everton defeated West Bromwich Albion 2-1 on Wednesday to keep their Champions League hopes on track.England defender Baines grabbed both his goals in the first half at Goodison Park as Everton stayed in fifth spot in the Premier League, just one point behind Tottenham, who were held 1-1 at Norwich.Substitute Shane Long claimed a second-half consolation for West Brom, who have now taken just one point from a possible 15 to move ninth place.


LE FONDRE DOUBLE STUNS CHELSEA

Adam Le Fondre struck twice in the final minutes as struggling Reading staged a remarkable recovery to clinch a 2-2 draw at home to Chelsea on Wednesday and move out of the Premier League relegation zone. Rafael Benitez’s visitors appeared on course for an easy victory at the Madejski Stadium that would have seen them extend their lead over fourth-placed Tottenham in the table following goals from Juan Mata and Frank Lampard. But ‘supersub’ Le Fondre, introduced in the 67th minute by Royals manager Brian McDermott, turned the match upside down in a result that did nothing to boost unpopular interim Blues boss Benitez’s stock with the Chelsea faithful.


‘YES ALWAYS YOU, MARIO BALOTELLI’

AC Milan have officially tied Mario Balotelli to a deal that will see him remain at the Serie A club until 2017. A statement by Milan said: ‘Mario Balotelli is officially a Milan player until 2017. ‘The club has bought Mario Balotelli from Manchester City FC and he has signed a contract which expires in June 2017.’ ‘Yes, always you’, was the headline on the Milan webpage officially welcoming Balotelli.
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