Fri | Jan 27, 2023

Manchester United on top again

Published:Sunday | March 7, 2010 | 12:00 AM

LONDON (AP): Manchester United went to top of the Premier League by winning 1-0 at Wolves and cash-strapped Portsmouth beat Birmingham 2-0 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals yesterday.

Paul Scholes scored the only goal after 73 minutes at Molineux as United overcame the loss of 28-goal Wayne Rooney, who was sidelined with a knee injury, and moved two points ahead of Chelsea, who play in the FA Cup today and Arsenal, who beat next-to-last Burnley 3-1. Chelsea have a game in hand on both.

The Wolves defence failed to clear a cross from Nani and Scholes moved the ball into space inside a crowded area and beat goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann with an angled shot for his 100th Premier League goal.

Wolves striker Sam Vokes squandered a golden chance to equalise in stoppage time when he was found unmarked in front of goal but lifted the ball over the bar from six metres.

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas fired home Samir Nasri's cross in the 34th minute for his 17th league and cup goal of the season but he went off with what appeared to be a right hamstring injury before half-time.

"How big the damage is, we don't know yet because it's too early," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose team faces FC Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday and has to overturn a 2-1 deficit. "We'll see tomorrow and Monday. We will have to make a late decision if he plays on Tuesday certainly."

David Nugent equalised from Leon Cort's pass but Theo Walcott regained Arsenal's lead in the 60th minute for his first goal in 18 appearances, and Andrey Arshavin added the third in injury time.

Man United have 63 points from 29 games, Chelsea have 61 from 28 and Arsenal 61 from 29.

In yesterday's other Premier League game, Bolton won 2-1 at West Ham to improve their chances of avoiding relegation and push the home side deeper into trouble.

first goal

Kevin Davies headed the first from close range and provided the cross for Jack Wilshere to score his first goal for Bolton since his loan move from Arsenal. Alessandro Diamanti's reply for West Ham came only two minutes from the end. The victory moved Bolton up to 13th and five points above the relegation zone while West Ham are only three points away from danger.

Fulham and Tottenham fought out a 0-0 FA Cup draw at Craven Cottage in a quarter-final of few clear-cut chances. Tottenham defender Vedran Corluka almost turned a cross into his own net with a minute to go.

Today, defending champions Chelsea host Stoke and Aston Villa go to Reading, the League Championship club which knocked out Liverpool in round three.

Newcastle crushed Barnsley 6-1 and opened up an eight-point advantage at the top of the League Championship in their bid to go straight back to the Premier League after last season's relegation.

Nottingham Forest beat Swansea 1-0 to regain second place from West Bromwich Albion who lost 3-1 at Queens Park Rangers.