Rooney sends United top after Suarez snubs Evra

Reuters, Saturday 11 Feb 2012

Rooney scored twice to inspire Manchester United in the Premier League

Man united striker Rooney (Photo: Reuters)

Wayne Rooney fired Manchester United to the top of the Premier League on Saturday after they beat Liverpool 2-1 in a match preceded by Luis Suarez’s refusal to shake Patrice Evra’s hand before the kickoff.

There were few chances in the first half as the spotlight fell on pre-match events when Suarez, who had served an eight-game ban for racially abusing Evra in their last league encounter, snubbed the Frenchman and ignored his outstretched hand.

Rooney struck twice in three minutes at the start of the second half to turn the focus back to the title race as the champions jumped above Manchester City at the top of the table.

Suarez, booed by home fans every time he touched the ball, struck in the 80th minute to give Liverpool hope but United then held firm to keep all the points.

United have 58 points from 25 games, one more than City who travel to Aston Villa on Sunday. Third-placed Tottenham Hotspur are on 50 points before hosting Newcastle United later on Saturday.

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