Man United beats Wolves 4-1 in Premier League

Wayne Rooney ended his goal drought by scoring twice as

Manchester United responded to its midweek Champions League exit

with a 4-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Rooney hadn’t scored in eight Premier League matches since Oct.

1 but his double and two goals from Nani took United to within two

points of leader Manchester City, which plays at Chelsea on

Monday.

United failed to make it through the Champions League group

stage for only the third time after being beaten by FC Basle on

Wednesday.

”On Wednesday, we worked our socks off and didn’t get a break,

but against Wolves we worked our socks off and got the breaks. Some

of the football was fantastic,” United manager Alex Ferguson said.

”They’re all disappointed about Wednesday and the young players

haven’t experienced a bad defeat like that before, but it will be a

good thing for them.

”You hope (the win over Wolves puts City under pressure) but

the important thing is to have our game right. If we get to New

Year’s Day in the frame, we’ve got a great chance in the second

half of the season. Wayne goes in spurts and he scored 11 in the

early part of the season. We’re now in an important part of the

season and if he can do that again it will put us in good

fettle.”

Nani gave the hosts an early lead, which was doubled by Rooney

in the 27th minute before Steven Fletcher pulled one back for

Wolves just after halftime. But Nani then added a third and Rooney

fired in a fourth.

Ferguson had spoken of his certainty that his players would

respond to their disappointment, and they certainly looked in the

mood from the very start against Wolves.

Fletcher, however, was actually the first to threaten by hitting

a low shot that flew narrowly wide after a quick break in the

opening minute. But after that, United was dominant and should have

been more than two goals ahead at the interval.

Rooney was a constant threat but Michael Carrick went the

closest with a powerful header that flew just past the top corner

of Wayne Hennessey’s goal.

The breakthrough came in the 17th minute, when Nani was afforded

the space to cut in from the left and find the bottom corner of the

net with a powerful low drive.

Ten minutes later, Rooney made it 2-0 after receiving a pass

from Nani, then taking a touch to give himself the room to thump a

shot past Hennessey from 20 yards.

Rooney was again denied by Hennessey after a sliding pass from

the impressive Danny Welbeck, while Nani was also thwarted by the

Wales goalkeeper just before halftime.

Beaten in each of their away matches since the opening day,

Wolves responded in the second minute after halftime.

Matthew Jarvis beat Chris Smalling and crossed to the far post

for Fletcher, who rose above Patrice Evra to find the top corner

with a powerful header.

But United moved two goals ahead once again when Jones fed

Valencia and the Honduran’s cross from the right was turned in by

Nani in the 56th minute.

Rooney added his second with a first-time shot after another

fine cross from the right from Valencia.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy mocked the recent criticism of

United.

”For all the hype and talk about their demise, which is

nonsense, you look at the players on the pitch and some of them are

young and developing,” he said. ”I know (Ferguson) isn’t immune

to pressure and I just find it refreshing when the best managers

are under pressure and getting stick and if he can get it, it makes

me feel better.”