It started perfectly for United when Wayne Rooney played a header out wide to Antonio Valencia who supplied a great cross for the man who started the play and the England international beat R’s keeper Radek Cerny with an angled headed effort to the back post from the middle of the six-yard box for his 12th league goal of the campaign.
It was the 3rd fastest goal of the season and put Sir Alex Ferguson’s men on their way to taking top spot for the first time since the middle of October with Manchester City to play Arsenal later today.
The lead was doubled when Michael Carrick pounced on a midfield error from R’s skipper Joey Barton to take the ball from behind the centre of the pitch to lash home past Cerny for his first goal in 70 outings.
United had a plethora of chances throughout, namely when Jonny Evans should have scored his first ever goal for the club when his header from Danny Welbeck’s initial headed attempt looped onto the crossbar moments before Cerny came up with a vital save when Rooney had played Phil Jones clear but the youngster could not beat the legs of the Czech keeper.
In the 31st minute, Cerny was at it again when Rooney’s goalbound shot was blocked by Matthew Connolly before Valencia’s rebound was brilliantly kept out by the R’s gloveman who leapt off the ground to make the block.
Evans was again close as he saw his header cleared off the line by Alejandro Faurlin before David de Gea made a neat save with his feet when Heidar Helguson shot on goal as the game really began to heat up.
Rooney was close to a second in the 59th minute but could not divert Evan’s flick-on in at the back post minutes before Cerny came up with a brilliant save to deny Welbeck whilst Jones hit the upright after playing a one-two with Nani with just over 20 minutes remaining.
DJ Campbell should have hit the target with his side-footed volley with 15 minutes left when fellow substitute Adel Taarabt found him in the area but was unable to breach de Gea’s goal as United made it six wins from their last seven to edge past City at the summit as the R’s remained 15th.
TRIBAL ASKS: Man Utd continue to roll along in customary fashion. Do they have the experience required to win another title?
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