Result: Manchester United edge past Southampton

Manchester United move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a narrow 2-1 win over Southampton at Old Trafford.

Manchester United have moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a narrow 2-1 win over Southampton at Old Trafford.

Jay Rodriguez gave the visitors a shock lead early on, but Wayne Rooney netted twice to give United the victory.

Saints forward Jay Rodriguez celebrates his strike against Man Utd on January 30, 2013© PA Photos

The visitors took the lead in comical circumstances with only three minutes on the clock thanks to Rodriguez.

A misplaced back pass from Michael Carrick forced goalkeeper David de Gea to come off his line, but the Spaniard missed the ball as he attempted to clear, allowing Rodriguez to tap into an empty net.

However, United were level minutes later when Rooney placed the ball into the far corner following Shinji Kagawa's clever pass.

United's Wayne Rooney celebrates equalising against Southampton on January 30, 2013© AP Photos

Kagawa then saw his effort on the angle strike the post as the hosts pushed hard for a second goal.

They were rewarded for their persistence on 30 minutes thanks to Rooney's simple finish after Patrice Evra had headed Robin van Persie's free kick back across the box.

Southampton started the second half brightly, but Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis were unable to convert their chances.

Lambert had United worried on the hour as De Gea failed to hold his free kick. However, there were no Southampton players to latch onto the rebound.

The hosts were well below their best in the second half, but they defended their lead to see them move further ahead of rivals City.

United's Wayne Rooney celebrates equalising against Southampton on January 30, 2013
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