Manchester United’s 5 key wins this season

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As Manchester United edge towards a 13th Premier League triumph this season, here are the 5 key moments behind Sir Alex Ferguson’s side winning the title:-

1. VAN PERSIE SCORES AGAINST CITY 

United cruised into a 2-0 lead at The Etihad stadium in the top-of-the-table clash, but a late comeback from City looked to have tied the game 2-2. In the last minute of play, however, Van Persie’s deflected free-kick curled past Joe Hart into the corner of the net. It was a massive three points.

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2. TORRES SENT OFF, HERNANDEZ WINS IT

United travelled to Chelsea in average form and four points adrift of their opponents. A physical face-off hit its key moment when Fernando Torres was unfairly shown a red card with the score at 2-2, sending Chelsea down to nine men after Branislav Ivanovic was also dismissed. Javier Hernandez ended up breaking Chelsea hearts, scoring the winner in a crucial 3-2 victory.

3. VAN PERSIE TO THE RESCUE AGAIN

With United stunned to be 2-0 down to newly-promoted Southampton, that man Van Persie again showed why Fergie paid so much money for him. Having already scored once, his awesome finishing saw him net two more late in the game to send the United fans crazy.

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4. TWO GOALS DOWN, BUT SAME OLD STROY AGAIN

Before 2013 rolled around, United kept conceding the first goal, only to end up winning the game, and their clash away to Aston Villa was no different. A two-goal deficit was yet again overturned, thanks mainly to a double from Hernandez. Psychologically it dealt City a big blow.

5. ROONEY STRIKES CRUCIAL GOAL

This was the game that pretty much clinched the title for United, even though it was still only February. Ferguson knew that a win would send his team 10 points clear ahead of City at the top, and Wayne Rooney’s classy goal in the second half was enough to overcome a tough Fulham side.

Defoe walks out Bradley Lowery, scores in England win

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Jermain Defoe’s friendship with terminally-ill Bradley Lowery has been special to watch unfold, and the Sunderland striker brought his little buddy to Wembley today.

Then he notched a match-winner.

Lowery walked Defoe out onto the field in a replica England kit before Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, and then Defoe scored his 20th goal for country.

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It was his first since 2013, the last year Defoe was called up for the Three Lions.

Here’s the goal, which was followed by a second-half Jamie Vardy tally as England stayed atop Group F with a 2-0 win over Lithuania.

Two Russian soccer fans stabbed in Serbia

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Two Russian fans have been hospitalized with serious injuries after being stabbed following a friendly soccer match between Red Star Belgrade and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday police were looking for the knife-wielding perpetrators who attacked a group of Lokomotiv fans in downtown Belgrade late Saturday.

Serbian media reports said the Russian fans were attacked by supporters of Red Star’s rival Partizan Belgrade.

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The match, which Red Star won 2-1, was meant to promote Serbia’s traditional friendship with Russia.

Stefanovic says “nobody should think they could hurt the Serbian-Russian friendship” with such attacks.

Serbia has seen a surge of fan violence inside and outside stadiums. In 2009, a French football fan was fatally beaten in Belgrade.

VIDEO: Gerrard’s juggle and finish leads Liverpool legends past Real Madrid

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Scoring at Anfield doesn’t get old, especially when your name is Steven Gerrard.

The English midfielder was playing in a friendly match between Liverpool and Real Madrid “legends” on Sunday, when he delivered this tasty goal (and assists to Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and John Aldridge).

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Gerrard redirects a cross over a lunging defender and into a place where he can lash a goal home to put the Reds up 4-0. He dedicated his Man of the Match performance to club legend Ronnie Moran, who died earlier this week.

Real’s comeback came up just short in a 4-3 final, with Fernando Morientes, Ruben de la Red, and Edwin Congo scoring for the visitors.

On a Sunday waiting for the international matches to begin, Gerrard supplies a nice highlight for the rest of us (Extended highlights free on Liverpool’s site).

Ozil bristles at talk of Arsenal selling him

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Mesut Ozil is on international break, and bristling at reports that Arsenal is going to sell him.

The midfielder’s absence from the lineup last week had plenty speculating on his future, even more than usual. His contract expires in 2018, and several reports claimed he’d join Alexis Sanchez as players destined for elsewhere.

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Ozil was not called up by Germany, and has missed four of his last nine Premier League matches. Three of those were for illness, and he missed last week’s loss to West Brom with a hamstring injury.

From Metro:

“And you think Wenger tells the journalist before he tells me? Then I know him differently,” Ozil told German outlet Welt.

“I have a contract until 2018 in London and I feel very comfortable there. We’ll talk soon and then make a decision.”

Metro notes that Ozil also said he wants to win the Champions League, something that can only happen with Arsenal remaining in the Top Four. We suppose you could make snarky inferences from his “comfortable in London” phrasing, but we’ll leave it there.