19 Feb 2009

Rooney nets on return for Manchester United

6:47 pm on 19 February 2009

Wayne Rooney scored on his return from injury as English football champions Manchester United beat Fulham 3-0 at Old Trafford to surge five points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.

The England striker, back in action after a month out with a hamstring injury, came on as a 61st minute substitute and scored from close range with his first touch of the game barely two minutes later to send United three goals clear.

Paul Scholes had volleyed United into the lead off a Michael Carrick corner in the 12th minute.

Dimitar Berbatov doubled the tally 17 minutes later with a tap-in.

United now have 59 points to Liverpool's 54 and third placed Aston Villa's 51 after 25 matches. Chelsea, their title chances dismissed by United manager Alex Ferguson in the pre-match programme, are fourth on 49.