United beats Fulham to open 3-point lead in EPL


MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- Wayne Rooney scored in the 42nd minute, and defending champion Manchester United defeated Fulham 1-0 Monday night to open a three-point lead over Manchester City in the Premier League.

Following its sixth straight league win, United (23-3-4) has 73 points with eight games remaining as it tries to extend its record for English league titles to 20. City (22-4-4), seeking its first league title since 1968, hosts United on April 30.

Rooney scored after John Arne Riise failed to clear a cross by Ashley Young. United defender Jonny Evans, who had come upfield for a corner kick, stabbed the ball back across goal for Rooney to stroke into the net from the edge of the 6-yard box. It was his ninth goal in 11 games in all competitions.

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer produced wonderful saves to deny Young and Antonio Valencia in the second half. There were some nervous moments in the final 10 minutes for United, when Michael Carrick appeared to bundle over Danny Murphy in the penalty area. But referee Michael Oliver did not call for a penalty kick.