May 21, 2013
Rooney puts United 10 points clear, Chelsea lose
Wayne Rooney's hot scoring streak continued today as he fired Manchester United 10 points clear in the Premier League title race with the only goal in a 1-0 victory at Fulham.
Overshadowed by Robin van Persie this season, Rooney showed his predatory instincts after 79 minutes at Craven Cottage when he punished a defensive error to grab an unconvincing win that turned up the heat on Manchester City who play on Sunday.
Faltering European champions Chelsea suffered their second late collapse this week, going down 3-2 at Newcastle United having led 2-1 with goals from Frank Lampard and Juan Mata.
Newcastle's new signing Moussa Sissoko equalised and then capped a superb home debut with a last-minute winner to increase the pressure on Chelsea's interim manager Rafa Benitez whose side conceded twice late on in a midweek draw at Reading.
Third-placed Chelsea have won only once in six games in all competitions and alarm bells are ringing about their hopes of sealing a top-four finish that brings a Champions League spot.
With Tottenham Hotspur playing on Sunday, Everton had a chance to move above them into fourth but had to fight back for a 3-3 draw at home to struggling Aston Villa, who led 3-1 before Marouane Fellaini's double spared the home side's blushes.
Lukas Podolski scored in the 78th minute to hand Arsenal a 1-0 win against visiting Stoke City, a result that helped the Gunners close in on the Champions League qualification places.
Manchester United have 62 points from 25 games with City, who host Liverpool on Sunday, on 52 and Chelsea on 46.
Spurs, who visit West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, have 42 points along with Everton while Arsenal are on 41.
Despite a yawning gap at the top, Rooney said the title was far from being in the bag.
"We're in a good position but we're not getting carried away," he told ESPN. "Let's see where we are with three or four games to go."