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Rooney powers United past Hammers

Wayne Rooney returned from injury to secure Manchester United’s place in the FA Cup fourth round with the only goal in a 1-0 win over West Ham United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The England international scored early in the first half to ensure United did not exit from the competition in this third round replay, but his late penalty miss ensured a nervous finish for the record 11-time FA Cup winners.

United manager Alex Ferguson used his programme notes to dismiss suggestions his side had become a “one-man team” thanks to Robin van Persie, despite the Dutchman scoring 21 goals already this season.

One of those goals was when van Persie came off the bench to rescue a draw with a stunning late effort in the original third round tie between the teams at Upton Park. United travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday in Premier League showdown against Tottenham.


WILSHERE GOAL SEES OFF ARSENAL

Jack Wilshere’s goal four minutes from time was just enough for Arsenal to see off Swansea City 1-0 in an FA Cup third round replay at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday. The Gunners’ reward is a trip to second-tier Brighton in the fourth round. ‘Wilshere has quality and enthusiasm and love for the game, which is important for me,’ said Arsene Wenger.


SIR ALEX WARY UNITED WILL ONE DAY PAY FOR PENALTY BLUES


Alex Ferguson called on his Manchester United side to improve their penalty-taking after Wayne Rooney missed their fifth spot-kick of the season on Wednesday. Rooney wasted a chance to put the result beyond doubt when he blazed over a penalty 12 minutes from time. That was Rooney’s second penalty miss of the season, with Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and Nani also proving fallible from 12 yards out this term. ‘It’s not ‘one of those things’. We have to improve,’ said United manager Ferguson. ‘There’s talk of the boy (Rickie) Lambert at Southampton, he’s scored 33 out of 33. That’s what penalty-kick taking is all about. Your penalty kicks are to take advantage of whether it’s a handball or a foul and score a goal.’


RESOLUTE SAINTS HOLD CHELSEA


Chelsea’s hopes of winning the Premier League title this season were left hanging by a thread after they squandered a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 draw at home to strugglers Southampton on Wednesday.

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney reacts after missing a penaltyChelsea appeared on course for victory when Demba Ba and Eden Hazard put them ahead before half-time.But the visitors rallied after the break through substitute Rickie Lambert’s 10th goal of the season and an outstanding equaliser from Jason Puncheon. Chelsea still in third place with 42 points but 13 points behind leaders Manchester United with just 16 league games remaining.  
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