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Rooney seals win to send United five clear

  • Story Highlights
  • Wayne Rooney scores with first touch as Manchester Utd beat Fulham 3-0
  • United's ninth straight league win sends them five points clear of Liverpool
  • Ronney back after injury with Dimitar Berbatov and Paul Scholes also scoring
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(CNN) -- Wayne Rooney scored with his first touch after a seven-match injury absence to help send Manchester United five points clear in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Fulham at Old Trafford.

United players had plenty to celebrate on a night that saw them extend their title lead to five points.

United players had plenty to celebrate on a night that saw them extend their title lead to five points.

The latest clean sheet leaves goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar 89 minutes away from breaking the European record of Club Bruges stalwart Dany Verlinden, who reached 1,390 without conceding a league goal in 1990.

Rooney, sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury against Wigan on January 14, sealed United's victory after 63 minutes following South Korea winger Park Ji-Sung's cross.

Debate: Will Manchester United win the Premier League or can they be caught?

The England striker had replaced Bulgarian marksman Dimitar Berbatov who found the target on the half-hour after Paul Scholes had put United in front with his first league goal for 18 months after 12 minutes.

Van der Sar 14th consecutive shut-out was another bonus for manager Alex Ferguson whose side are hurtling towards another title with Liverpool their nearest challengers.

Aston Villa are another three points adrift in third with fourth-placed Chelsea trailing United by 10 points and Arsenal a massive 15 points in arrears.

Scholes 97th Premier League goal came when he fired in following Michael Carrick's corner while Berbatov tapped home from John O'Shea's flick-on.

United face Tottenham in the League Cup final at Wembley on March 1; are still on course in the FA Cup -- they face Fulham or Swansea in the next round -- and are also defending their Champions League title in a quadruple-seeking season.

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