Rooney and Carrick put United three clear

Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick scored in each half as Manchester United beat Portsmouth 2-0 at Old Trafford to go three points clear of Liverpool at the top of the English Premier League table, with a game in hand. With midfielder Paul Scholes becoming only the fourth United player to reach 600 appearances for the club, the defending champions moved closer to an 18th league title — and their third in succession — with a dominant if unspectacular performance against a Portsmouth side still battling to avoid relegation. United took the lead in the ninth minute when Brazilian midfielder Anderson sent Ryan Giggs flying down the left flank with a brilliant reverse pass — and the Welsh veteran calmly rolled his cross along the six-yard box, where Rooney was waiting to tap home.