PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW

Prem League: Ref decision fires United into life

April 25, 2009
By Soccernet Staff

A stunning second-half fightback led by Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney helped Manchester United re-establish their three-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 5-2 win at Old Trafford.

GettyImagesMan Utd celebrate Ronaldo's second goal

An upset looked on the cards at the interval with Spurs 2-0 up thanks to an opportunist strike from Darren Bent and a neat control and finish from Luka Modric.

United grabbed a lifeline in the 57th minute when Ronaldo held his nerve to convert from the spot after keeper Heurelho Gomes and brought down Michael Carrick.

And after Rooney had slotted the equalised past Gomes at his near post in the 67th minute, the visitors crumbled.

Ronaldo headed a third from a Rooney cross a minute later and the England striker adding a fourth just three minutes after that.

Dimitar Berbatov poked home number five after the sorry Gomes spilled his initial header.

Liverpool had earlier kept up the pressure on Ferguson's men with ">a comfortable 3-1 win against 10-man Hull.

Xabi Alonso's strike and a Dirk Kuyt brace secured the victory which put Rafael Benitez's side temporarily ahead of United on goal difference.

Alonso scored on the stroke of half-time, hitting his free-kick straight into the wall but then lashing the rebound into the roof of the net, and after Caleb Folan had been sent off on the hour for a challenge on Martin Skrtel, Kuyt doubled the Reds' advantage with a header from a goalmouth scramble.

Geovanni pulled one back for Hull with 18 minutes to go, but Kuyt volleyed home his second a minute from time to leave the Tigers in 17th place, three points above the drop zone.

West Brom kept their hopes of a great escape alive with a 3-0 home win over Sunderland.

The Baggies went ahead against the run of play five minutes before the break courtesy of a swinging left-foot volley from Jonas Olsson.

Then Chris Brunt scored his fourth goal in the last three games to double the Baggies lead after a low cross from Marc-Antoine Fortune.

Juan Carlos Menseguez then put a third past a ramshackle Sunderland back line after a ball from Brunt.

Fulham moved into seventh after edging past Stoke 1-0 at Craven Cottage thanks to Erik Nevland, who slotted home after a neat one-two with Andy Johnson on the half hour.

Chelsea beat West Ham 1-0 at Upton Park thanks to Salomon Kalou's precise finish from a Frank Lampard cross.

But Blues 'keeper Petr Cech prevented the goalscorer becoming villain after Kalou brought down Hérita Ilunga in the area, saving Mark Noble's penalty on 71 minutes.

Bolton and Aston Villa shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium. Ashley Young gave Villa the lead in the first half before Tamir Cohen smashed the ball home from close range after a Matthew Taylor free kick.

Manchester City won only their second game away from home all season as they downed FA Cup finalists Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park.

Robinho opened the scoring after being put clean through by Elano's pass before Stephen Ireland doubled their advantage in the second half.

Dan Gosling scored a late goal to give the Toffees hope but Mark Hughes' side held on.