Mon, Oct 30, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Rooney hat-trick keeps Man United ahead of Chelsea


Wayne Rooney broke his 10-match scoring drought in style with a hat-trick as Manchester United triumphed 4-0 at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday to stay ahead of champions Chelsea at the top of the English Premiership.

The England striker scored the first two and after Cristiano Ronaldo had made it 3-0 on 82 minutes, sealed the win with the fourth to ensure United stayed top on goal difference.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said he knew Rooney would come good.

"It was going to happen sooner or later," Ferguson said. "I spoke to Wayne beforehand and just told him to relax and keep concentrating."

"Once he got the first one, you could see the confidence coming back and after that, I was just hoping the ball would go to him all the time," he said.

Chelsea kept the pressure on with a 2-0 win at Sheffield United, with Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack scoring the goals.

Danny Webber missed a penalty for United (17) and Chelsea made them pay with Lampard putting the Blues ahead just before half-time with a long-range free-kick and Ballack scored his second goal in as many games just after the break.

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho paid tribute to his third-choice goalkeeper Hilario, whose penalty save kept Chelsea on even terms early on.

"Hilario is amazing," Mourinho said. "He is cool and comfortable in goal and I think the penalty save was a three-point save. If Hilario doesn't save it maybe we are in trouble."

Arsenal couldn't make it six wins out of six in the league as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Everton.

And they had to come from behind to salvage a point as Tim Chaill put Everton ahead early on, only for Robin van Persie to equalize midway through the second half.

Liverpool ended a poor run with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa, with Dirk Kuyt, Peter Crouch and Luis Garcia all scoring.

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