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Portsmouth 1 Manchester United 4

November 28, 2009

Wayne Rooney may have scored a hat-trick, but it was Antonio Valencia and Darren Fletcher who excelled as Manchester United recorded a 4-1 victory at Fratton Park.

Wayne Rooney scored three for United as they cruised to a win at Portsmouth

Rooney confidently lashed a penalty past keeper Asmir Begovic after he went to ground under a challenge from Michael Brown after a flowing move involving Valencia.

Valencia’s pace made it difficult for the Portsmouth defence throughout, though the hosts equalised when the linesman and referee spotted Nemanja Vidic’s shirt-pull. Kevin Prince-Boateng struck the penalty to Tomasz Kuszczak’s right.

The Polish keeper had already excelled himself after a block from Aruna Dindane and a fingertip save from midfielder Jamie O’Hara.

The sides went in 1-1 at half-time with United captain Gary Neville questioning the penalty award.

The second half began with United in vintage form. Darren Fletcher lobbed the ball to Ryan Giggs, who sidefooted to Rooney. The in-form striker drove the ball past Begovic to give United a 2-1 lead.

Shortly afterwards Giggs was hauled down in the box and Rooney responded well – slotting his third into the bottom corner to record a hat-trick inside an hour.

Valencia had probed down the right throughout and caused Portsmouth countless problems. His acceleration from a standing start was often too much for the hosts.

Portsmouth continued to press, but United scored again as Giggs and Rooney hovered menacingly over a free-kick. Giggs lashed it past Begovic with his left foot to record his 100th Premier League goal and confirm United’ s win.

His side now lie two points behind Chelsea, who play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.

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