Manchester United FC beat Aston Villa FC 2-1 to retain the League Cup on a day when both Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC underlined their Premier League top-four credentials with victories.
United, still pursuing their fourth successive league title and the UEFA Champions League, had to come from behind to clinch the first silverware of the English season. The game was less than five minutes old, in fact, when James Milner dispatched a penalty to give Martin O'Neill hope of winning this competition for the fifth time as player and manager, Nemanja Vidić having felled Gabriel Agbonlahor.
The extraordinary start continued when Michael Owen restored parity just seven minutes later with a cool finish before a familiar figure struck the winner. Wayne Rooney, on as a first-half substitute after Owen was forced off injured, took his tally to 28 goals in all competitions this season by heading in Antonio Valencia's cross on 74 minutes to secure United the trophy they won against Tottenham last year.
Spurs, for their part, replaced Manchester City FC in fourth in the league thanks to a 2-1 win against Everton. Roman Pavlyuchenko scored his sixth goal in four games to put Spurs ahead on 11 minutes and Luka Modrić doubled their lead on 28. Ayegbeni Yakubu halved the deficit after half-time, but Spurs hung on for all three points.
Liverpool are just a point behind Harry Redknapp's men in sixth following their 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers FC, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres hitting the net either side of a Keith Andrews penalty for Rovers. Sunderland AFC remain without a league win since November following a goalless draw with UEFA Europa League contenders Fulham FC in the day's other game.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.
|Last updated: 03/07/2011 06:02 CET|
G. Johnson 84
Beckford 8, 39