Manchester United put the pain of their Champions League exit behind them with a 4-1 Premier League win at home to strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Victory, secured by two goals apiece from Nani and Wayne Rooney, saw the champions close to within two points of leaders Manchester City, but their rivals — also knocked out of the Champions League in midweek — can restore their five-point advantage at the top if they win away to Chelsea today.
Nani gave United a 17th-minute lead at Old Trafford with a low shot from 20m for his first goal in 18 games and 10 minutes later Rooney shot through a crowd of players gave the England striker his first league goal in nine games.
Steven Fletcher pulled a goal back for Wolves early in the second half, but United restored their two-goal lead after Nani turned in Antonio Valencia’s cross.
Valencia was also the provider when Rooney made it 4-1.
“I always say December is an important month — if we get to the New Year still in the frame, we have a great chance,” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said.
Elsewhere, Arsenal marked their 125th anniversary with a 1-0 win at home to Everton thanks to a goal from in-form striker Robin van Persie.
The Dutch international broke the deadlock at the Emirates with a brilliant left-foot volley 20 minutes from time.
“It’s an art Robin has mastered well,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “We are also grateful for three points against a good Everton side.”
Liverpool beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0 at Anfield thanks to Luis Suarez’s first goal in six games, with the Uruguayan heading home two minutes after halftime.
Norwich City held off 10-man Newcastle United to win 4-2 at Carrow Road.
Newcastle fell behind when, from a 39th-minute corner, a goalmouth scramble ended with Wes Hoolahan putting the Canaries ahead, but Newcastle were level before halftime when striker Demba Ba ran on to Yohan Cabaye’s through ball for his 10th goal in as many league games.
Norwich then scored two goals in four minutes with headers from Grant Holt and Steve Morison.
Newcastle, who had Dan Gosling red-carded, made it 3-2 when Ba scored his second, but Holt calmed Norwich nerves when he headed in from 12m to make the score 4-2.
“You can’t concede from three set-plays in the Premier League like we did, but any team would struggle with the injuries we’ve got in central defense,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said. “We’re still aiming for a top seven or eight finish if we can.”
Wigan Athletic climbed off the bottom with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.
The Baggies went ahead at the Hawthorns when midfielder Steven Reid curled in a 22m free-kick, but minutes later Victor Moses drew Wigan level with a curling strike from the edge of the box.
Wigan went ahead in the 57th minute when Jordi Gomez scored from the penalty spot after Reid fouled Moses.
“We showed great composure and I was extremely proud,” Wigan manager Roberto Martinez said.
Aston Villa took the lead away to struggling Bolton Wanderers when the unmarked Marc Albrighton turned in a cross from Gabriel Agbonlahor 12 minutes before halftime and more poor defending gave Stiliyan Petrov room for a long-range shot that went in via a deflection off Gary Cahill.
Bolton hit back when Ivan Klasnic scored in the 55th minute, but they were unable to find another goal and Owen Coyle’s men are now propping up the table.
“We are left to rue one sloppy 10-minute period,” Coyle said.
Swansea City defeated Fulham 2-0, with Scott Sinclair opening the scoring with a 56th-minute strike which was deflected into his own net by Clint Dempsey.
US international Dempsey had the chance to equalize, but his penalty was superbly saved by Michel Vorm.
Swansea substitute Danny Graham then sealed victory on the stroke of fulltime.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017