Manchester United takes Premier League lead


LONDON (AP) -- Manchester United took over the Premier League lead at the end of a round of games for the first time since Oct. 15, beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Sunday on a pair of goals by Wayne Rooney as Manchester City lost 1-0 at Swansea.

Rooney deflected in a shot by Javier Hernandez in the 35th minute at Old Trafford, then converted a penalty kick in the 71st after Keith Andrews fouled Ashley Young. Rooney increased his season total to 26 goals, including 20 in the league.

As Swansea, Luke Moore scored on a close-ranger header in the 83rd minute.

Defending champion United (21-3-4) has 67 points, one more than City (21-4-3), which is seeking its first league title since 1968. Ten games remain for each team.

United is hoping to extend its record for English league titles to 20.

"We've turned it around and credit to the players for that. They have shown great resilience and determination," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "We won't get nervous. We have the experience. We will keep on playing and it is good to see that type of temperament."

All four of City's losses have been on the road.

"The lead can change every game but it is important to start winning and scoring again," City manager Roberto Mancini said. "All the players at this moment are tired, but we have a lot of energy to go top again and there are 10 games to play."

City's schedule includes games at home against Chelsea and at Arsenal. The Manchester rivals meet April 30, with City hosting.

In the day's other match, last-place Wigan (4-15-9) earned a point in the fight against relegation with a 1-1 draw at Norwich. Wigan is a point behind 19th-place Wolverhampton and two shy of safety.


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Lionel Messi scored twice to reach 50 goals for the second straight season and lead Barcelona to a 2-0 win at Racing Santander in the Spanish league.

Messi broke through Racing's 10-man defense in the 29th minute, and the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year converted a penalty kick in the 56th. After scoring 53 goals in 55 games last season, Messi has reached 50 goals in 43 matches this season -- including 13 in his last five games for Barcelona.

With 230 goals since his debut in 2004, the 24-year-old is five shy of matching Cesar Rodriguez's Barcelona club record, set from 1942-55.

Real Madrid (23-2-1) has 70 points and has a 10-point lead over three-time La Liga champion Barcelona (18-2-6).


ROME (AP) -- AC Milan bounced back from its loss to Arsenal by beating Lecce 2-0 to open a four-point lead in the Serie A after Juventus tied Genoa 0-0 for its 14th league draw of the season.

Antonio Nocerino scored for AC Milan in the seventh minute and Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubled the lead in the 65th with his league-leading 19th goal of the season.

In Genoa, Juventus hit the crossbar and posts three times in the second half, moving within four of the record for most draws in a 20-team Serie A season, set by Inter Milan in 2004-05.

AC Milan (17-4-5), seeking its second straight title, has 57 points. Juventus (13-0-14), which extended its unbeaten streak to 31 games, has 53.


BERLIN (AP) -- Claudio Pizarro scored one goal and set up another to help Werder Bremen beat Hannover 3-0 and remain in sixth place, the Bundesliga's last Europa League berth.

Pizarro, who had earlier drawn a great save from Ron-Robert Zieler, scored his 16th goal of the season in the 31st minute.

Mehmet Ekici's free kick enabled Sebastian Proedl to make it 2-0 with a header in the 49th. Pizarro then sent Markus Rosenberg through to slot the ball under Zieler's legs seven minutes later.

Hannover is four points behind Breme in seventh.

Schalke extended its league unbeaten streak to eight with a 3-1 win over Hamburg on goals by Temmu Pukki in the fifth minute and Christoph Metzelder in the 26th, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's penalty kick in the 33rd. Gojko Kacar scored for Hamburg in the 45th.


GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) -- Celtic breezed into the Scottish Cup semifinals by overwhelming Dundee United 4-0.

Joe Ledley, Georgios Samaras, Anthony Stokes and Scott Brown scored in the second half for the Premier League leaders, who stayed on course for the league-cup double.

Aberdeen also reached the last four as Rory Fallon scored twice in a 2-1 victory over Motherwell.

Hibernian beat second-tier Ayr 2-0 in the quarterfinals on Saturday, when Hearts was taken to a replay following a 2-2 draw with St. Mirren.