United neutralizes McBride goal for Fulham

February 24, 2007

LONDON -- Manchester United won 2-1 at Fulham on Cristiano Ronaldo's 88th-minute goal Saturday, moving nine points ahead of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.

Brian McBride opened the scoring at home for Fulham, and Ryan Giggs tied the score for United midway through the first half. Ronaldo then sent a deflected shot into the net.

"It's significant, winning the way we played today," Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said. "Fulham will feel very aggrieved at not winning the match."

United leads the league with 69 points. Defending champion Chelsea does not play in the league this weekend because it faces Arsenal in Sunday's League Cup final.

Robbie Fowler scored twice on penalty kicks in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Sheffield United, and Charlton routed West Ham 4-0. Middlesbrough defeated Reading 2-1, and Watford beat Everton 3-0.

McBride scored his 12th goal of the season in the 17th minute. United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, a former Fulham player, blocked midfielder Simon Davies and the ball rolled to McBride, who hit a diagonal shot through Nemanja Vidic's legs and into the net.

Wayne Rooney set up Giggs in the 29th, and the winger sent a volley into the net. Giggs also scored Tuesday in a 1-0 Champions League win at Lille.

McBride was taken off in the 79th minute, and defender Carlos Bocanegra played the entire match. Clint Dempsey was a 71st-minute substitute. Other Americans playing Saturday were: goalkeepers Marcus Hahnemann (Reading) and Tim Howard (Everton), and defender Jay DeMerit (Watford).

Germany
BERLIN -- Lukas Podolski and Mark van Bommel scored to lift struggling Bayern Munich to a 2-1 Bundesliga victory against VfL Wolfsburg.

Bayern, in fourth place and in danger of missing out on Champions League qualification for the first time in 11 years, moved two points behind third-place Werder Bremen for the league's final spot in the European competition.

Bayern appeared to be coasting after Podolski hit a penalty kick in the 26th minute. In the 55th, Van Bommel found himself unguarded after taking Bastian Schweinsteiger's pass and scored inside the left post. However, Bayern looked rattled after a 78th-minute goal from Cedrik Madiadi.

Schalke, which plays Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday, leads with 49 points, four more than Stuttgart, which tied Hertha Berlin 0-0 on Friday. Bremen has 42 points and Bayern 40.

Mohamed Zidan scored both goals as Mainz handed fifth-placed Nuremberg a 2-1 loss, its first loss since Nov. 7. Hamburg won its third straight with a 3-1 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt. Rafael van der Vaart scored once and set up another goal.

Hannover remained unbeaten in five games, climbing to seventh place with a 4-2 win against Borussia Dortmund, a rival for an UEFA Cup berth. Arnold Bruggink scored twice for Hannover.

Energie Cottbus also beat Arminia Bielefeld 2-1 and VfL Bochum and Alemannia Aachen tied 2-2.

Italy
MILAN -- Erjon Bogdani scored two goals to help Chievo Verona beat Torino 3-0 in Italy's Serie A and move away from the relegation zone.

Bogdani opened after two minutes with a bending shot from the left side of the penalty area and added his second with a header in the 45th. Matteo Brighi got Chievo's third goal in the 47th, volleying in Victor Obinna's pass.

Chievo climbed into a tie for 15th place with Torino, which has now lost six straight.

The game marked a return to evening play in the Serie A following the Feb. 2 killing of a policeman in rioting at a game between Catania and Palermo.

Scotland
GLASGOW -- Dunfermline advanced to the Scottish Cup semifinals after a 2-0 win over Partick.

Dunfermline is at the bottom of the Scottish Premier League, where it is on a 13-match winless streak. But it is doing well in cup play, having eliminated Hearts and Rangers this season.

Stephen Simmons headed in goals in the fourth and 86th minutes as Dunfermline dominated first division club Partick.

Hibernian also advanced, with 2-1 win at Queen of the South, which is last in the first division. Hibernian stayed on course to reach its second cup final this season when Thomas Sowunmi scored the winner in the 51st. Hibernian, the 1887 and 1902 Scottish Cup winner, plays Kilmarnock in the League Cup final on March 18.

France
PARIS -- Johan Elmander scored twice to help Toulouse beat Marseille 3-0 in the French first division. Achille Emana added the third goal.

Toulouse has 41 points while Marseille has 38 with just one goal in the past five games.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press