Man Utd stay six points clear

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney were on target for Manchester United as the Premier League leaders swept aside Sunderland 3-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday to stay six points clear of champions Manchester City.

United were 2-0 up after 19 minutes, Van Persie opening the scoring his 12th league goal of the season and Tom Cleverley adding a quickfire second three minutes later. Rooney, who was a doubt due to midweek sickness, made it 3-0 with a 59th minute tap-in before substitute Fraizer Campbell pulled one back against his old club with a header four minutes after coming on.

United now have 42 points to City's 36 while Chelsea, in Japan for Sunday's Club World Cup final against Brazilian side Corinthians, remained third on 29 points with a game in hand.

City, beaten 3-2 by United in last weekend's Manchester derby, defeated Newcastle United 3-1 at St James' Park earlier in the day. The visitors were a goal up after 10 minutes when Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure split the Newcastle defence with a superb pass to Samir Nasri who rolled the ball back for forward Sergio Aguero to stroke home.

Javi Garcia headed the second after a corner in the 39th minute and Toure wrapped up the points late on after Demba Ba's goal had briefly revived Newcastle's hopes.


Queens Park Rangers celebrated their first win of the season after beating Fulham 2-1 thanks to a brace from Adel Taarabt, to end a record run of 16 matches without a victory and move off the foot of the table. The victory stopped QPR becoming the first top-flight team since Bolton Wanderers in 1902-03 to fail to win any of their opening 17 games.

Aston Villa fans had plenty to cheer after a 3-1 win at Liverpool moved them three points clear of the relegation zone. Christian Benteke scored in each half at Anfield with Andreas Weimann grabbing the other goal for Villa who were 2-0 up at halftime. Steven Gerrard headed an 87th-minute consolation for Liverpool.

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