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Rooney inspires Manchester United to victory

December 27, 2009 23:42 IST

Wayne Rooney gave away a goal but redeemed himself to inspire Manchester United to a 3-1 win over struggling Hull City which slashed Chelsea's lead to two points at the top of the Premier League on Sunday.

The result lifted champions United back ahead of Arsenal, who beat fourth-placed Aston Villa 3-0 with Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas coming off the bench to score two goals, into second place.

Stuttering Chelsea faltered on Saturday when they failed to score for the first time in 34 games and were held to a 0-0 draw at Birmingham City.

Chelsea have 42 points from 19 games, Manchester United are on 40 from the same number and Arsenal have 38 with a game in hand.

Rooney fired United ahead from close range on the stroke of halftime at the KC Stadium but allowed Hull back into the game with a woeful back pass in the 58th minute that led to a Craig Fagan penalty.

The England striker redeemed himself when his cross was turned in by Andy Dawson for a 73rd-minute own goal that put United back in front.

Dimitar Berbatov made it 3-1 by tapping in at the far post eight minutes from time after Rooney had set him up with a perfect pass.

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