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PREMIER LEAGUE: Rooney strike settles the battle of Manchester

A wonder strike by Wayne Rooney saw Manchester United open up a seven point lead at the top of the league and gave them the bragging rights in a 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester City. It seems as if Manchester City will have to scrap for a Champions League place as they now trail United by eight points after this defeat.

Roberto Mancini may feel his team deserved a draw as despite trailing at half-time they had probably edged the first 45 minutes but found themselves a goal down just before the break.

A United break involving Rooney and Ryan Giggs end up with the ball played to Nani who slides the ball past Joe Hart.

The visitor's got their deserved equaliser on 65 minutes, even if it was tinged with a slice of fortune.

Edin Dzeko had the initial shot which hit David Silva on the back and then into goal. At this stage the visiting City fans could only hope their record of only winning one of their last 26 league visits to Old Trafford would be about to be doubled.

Just as it seemed City might get something out of the game the previously undistinguished Rooney conjured up a fabulous volleyed goal with 12 minutes remaining.

Again United failed to impress but still came away with the three points which is often the mark of would-be champions and certainly boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be delighted with the outcome.

Referee: Andre Marriner

Venue: Old Trafford Attendance: 75,322

Man Utd scorers: Nani 41, Rooney 78 Man City scorers: Silva 65

MANUTD 01 Van der Sar 03 Evra 12 Smalling 15 Vidic 22 O'Shea 08 Anderson (Berbatov 67) 11 Giggs (yellow card) 17 Nani 18 Scholes (yellow card) (Carrick 79) 24 Fletcher 10 Rooney

Substitutes 34 Lindegaard, 06 Brown, 21 Rafael, 16 Carrick, 07 Owen, 09 Berbatov, 14 Hernandez

MAN CITY 25 Hart 02 Richards 04 Kompany (yellow card) 05 Zabaleta 13 Kolarov (Wright-Phillips 53) 19 Lescott 07 Milner (yellow card) (Dzeko 60) 18 Barry 21 Silva 42 Y Toure 32 Tevez

Substitutes 01 Given, 17 Boateng, 28 K Toure, 08 Wright-Phillips, 24 Vieira, 10 Dzeko, 27 Jo

 Click here for the No1 coverage of all the gossip and transfer news around Manchester City.

 Click here for the No1 coverage of all the gossip and transfer news around Manchester United.

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Dave Williams

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