Man United reasserts authority in England

AP
Manchester United's Nani, center right, scores against Wolverhampton Wanderers during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday Dec. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
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LONDON (AP) — Manchester United responded well to its humiliating exit from the Champions League, rediscovering its scoring touch in a 4-1 victory over Wolverhampton on Saturday that kept the pressure on Premier League leader Manchester City.

Nani and Wayne Rooney — with his first goals since mid-September — both scored twice in a romp at Old Trafford to leave United two points behind City, which visits title rival Chelsea on Monday.

"Sometimes strikers go in bursts and hopefully that is Wayne on a spurt of goals now to take us up to New Year," said United manager Alex Ferguson, whose team lost 2-1 to FC Basel on Wednesday. "I always say December is an important month. If we get to the New Year still in the frame, we have a great chance."

Robin van Persie took his league-high goal tally to 15 with Arsenal's winner in the 1-0 victory over Everton, smashing home a volley in the 70th minute to lift his team into the top four for now.

Liverpool edged Queens Park Rangers 1-0 thanks to Luis Suarez's first goal in more than two months to move into sixth above Newcastle, which lost 4-2 to Norwich for its third defeat in four matches.

Wigan climbed out of last place by beating West Bromwich Albion 2-1. It was replaced by Bolton, which slumped to a fourth straight defeat by losing 2-1 at home to struggling Aston Villa.

Brad Guzan, Villa's American goalkeeper, made his first Premier League start. He had a number of good stops before being denied a shutout by Ivan Klasni in the second half.

Swansea kept up its impressive home record by beating Fulham 2-0. American midfielder Clint Dempsey deflected a shot by Scott Sinclair into his own net for the Welsh team's opening goal before having a penalty kick saved at the other end in the 87th. Danny Graham wrapped up Swansea's victory in second-half stoppage time.

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VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Levante maintained its surprise bid for a Champions League spot by beating Sevilla 1-0 at home from Nano's second-half goal.

Nano forced the ball over the line in the 56th minute after Arouna Kone's header from a corner was fumbled by goalkeeper Javi Varas.

The result consolidated fourth spot in the Spanish league for Levante, which is four points ahead of fifth-place Sevilla.

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ROME (AP) — Miroslav Klose scored twice and set up another goal as Lazio won 3-2 at Lecce on to move into second place in the Italian league.

Lecce took the lead on a penalty kick by David Di Michele in the 12th minute, and Klose then responded by scoring from within the box in the 28th and setting up a goal for Lorik Cana in the 48th.

Stefano Ferrario tied it for Lecce with a header in the 59th. Klose restored his team's lead by heading in a cross from Djibril Cisse in the 87th for his eighth goal in 14 games.

Lazio moved within one point of leader Juventus and one point in front of AC Milan and Udinese.

Genoa won 2-0 at Siena with goals from Marco Rossi and Rodrigo Palacio.

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BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Moenchengladbach missed a chance to go to the top of the Bundesliga when promoted Augsburg won 1-0 to pull out of last place.

Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker scored against his former club when goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen was powerless to stop his deflected free kick in the 51st minute.

Lukas Podolski scored twice, helped set up another and hit the crossbar as Cologne won 4-0 in its 400th Bundesliga game at home to leave Freiburg in last place.

U.S. defender Timmy Chandler was sent off in Nuremberg's 2-0 defeat to Hoffenheim. Werder Bremen beat Wolfsburg 4-1 and Mainz drew 0-0 with Hamburg.

On Sunday, first-place Bayern Munich is at Stuttgart and defending champion Borussia Dortmund hosts Kaiserslautern.

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra returned from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him since Nov. 19, playing the entire 90 minutes in Rangers' 2-0 win at Hibernian.

Nikica Jelavic scored both goals in the second half, putting the reigning champions ahead with a 61st-minute penalty kick before wrapping up victory eight minutes later by heading home a corner for his 14th goal of the season.

Second-place Celtic kept the pressure on its Glasgow rival by beating Hearts 1-0, staying four points behind with a sixth straight victory.

Aberdeen moved out of last with a 2-2 draw at home to St. Mirren. Now in last place is Dunfermline, whose home game against Kilmarnock was postponed because of fog.

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