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Rooney hails manager and squad after Man Utd regain championship

Wayne Rooney said Manchester United had the hunger to regain the Premier League title this season.

The striker collected his fifth championship after United defeated Aston Villa 3-0 at Old Trafford.

A Robin van Persie hat-trick - the second goal among the best scored at Old Trafford - propelled Alex Ferguson's side to victory in front of a jubilant home crowd.

And after the final whistle, England striker Rooney believed the squad and manager had more of a desire to go out and win their 20th title after city rivals Manchester City had won it in such dramatic style last season.

"It's what we worked all year for and we've fully deserved it."

"It's what we worked all year for and we've fully deserved it," Rooney told Sky Sports. "We won this game in the first half and it is a fantastic night for us.

"When you lose the title, it's hard to take and the way we did it wasn't a nice feeling last time so we've all dug in deep and all worked together and done fantastic to put ourselves in the position tonight to finish the job off.

"You know how football is so you never take anything for granted so we worked hard and thankfully now it's done.

"The manager has great desire and a winning mentality. We all buy into that and want to do well for the club."

Konta will make her Fed Cup debut for England this weekend

Great Britain captain Judy Murray has decided to give Johanna Konta her Fed Cup debut in this weekend's World Group II play-off in Argentina.

Konta, who was born in Sydney and only became eligible for Great Britain last May, got the nod ahead of the more experienced Anne Keothavong to replace Heather Watson, who is suffering from glandular fever.

Konta will take on Paula Ormaechea in the opening rubber at the Parque Roca stadium before Laura Robson faces Florencia Molinero.

The reverse singles will then be contested before Robson teams up with Keothavong for the doubles.

Murray said: "It's disappointing for Heather that she couldn't make the trip with us. We hope that she will be back soon and we hope we can get the job done with the team we have.

"You always miss a player ranked around 40 in the world and we wish her a speedy recovery.

"The Argentinians have the advantage of playing at home and on clay, which would be their preferred surface, so for us that's a challenge.

"We have a very strong team, we have strength in depth, and I hope that it will be a good match and that we will come out on top."

Robson is the highest-ranked player in the tie at 38 in the world and she said: "I have been practicing on clay since Miami, so I have had a few weeks now to get used to it and played a tournament on clay in Charleston, so I'm feeling pretty comfortable."

Corinthians to face Boca, Brazil duo advance

Defending champions Corinthians will face six-time winners Boca Juniors in the most eye-catching round of 16 contest in the Copa Libertadores.

The draw, made following the final round of group matches in this year's competition, also saw Brazil's Atletico Mineiro paired with compatriots Sao Paulo.

Santa Fe were paired with Gremio, Olimpia face Tigre, Velez Sarsfield come up against Newell's Old Boys, Garcilaso take on Nacional, Fluminense tackle Emelec and Palmeiras meet Tijuana.

Brazilian sides Gremio, Fluminense and Palmeiras completed the line-up, following the final round of group matches on Thursday.

Fluminense and Gremio grabbed the top two positions in Group Eight after an exciting climax.

The Brazilian side only needed a draw against Caracas but they beat the Venezuela side 1-0 thanks to a Rafael Sobis goal early in the second half.

Huachipato drew 1-1 with Gremio in Chile. Both teams finished levelled on eight points - but the Brazilians qualified thanks to a better goal difference.

Ze Roberto opened the scoring in the first half but two minutes before the end Huachipato set up an exciting climax with an equaliser from Miguel Aceval.

Palmeiras finished top of Group Two, despite losing 1-0 to an Irven Avila goal for Sporting Cristal in Peru.

Argentina's Tigre claimed the second position after a 5-3 victory in Paraguay over Libertad.

Libertad needed only a draw to qualify, but found themselves behind to a goal from Ruben Botta in the 10th minute.

Miguel Samudio equalised, but Matias Perez Garcia put the Argentinians ahead and Gaston Diaz's penalty made it 3-1, before Jose Nunez reduced the arrears just before the break.

Perez Garcia and Botta both scored their second goals to put Tigre out of sight - but a goal by Pablo Velazquez for Libertad in injury time denied them top spot on goal difference.

Terry insists team comes above personal interests

John Terry refused to dwell on losing his place in the Chelsea starting line-up after making his goal scoring return to the team.

The club captain has found himself behind the likes of centre-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill, who is currently injured, in interim boss Rafa Benitez's plans.

But Terry on Wednesday night started his first Premier League match since 30th March and scored two goals in the 3-0 win at Fulham to give Chelsea a major boost in the top-four race.

After the game he insisted he was happy to do what is best for the club, as he told Sky Sports: "All I can do, if I am not first or second choice, is obviously take my opportunities like tonight and try and impress the manager on a daily basis.

"If he decides to go with the other two [players], then so be it. It is down to me to work hard and get back in this very good team."

The victory over Fulham moved Chelsea above Arsenal in third place in the Premier League with a game in hand while they are also three points clear of Tottenham Hotspur in fifth.

And Terry has demanded all of his squad-mates prioritize success in Chelsea's six remaining league games, along with a Europa League semi-final, over their personal interests.

"It is very important we stay focused and do not get too down about not playing games," he said.

"Obviously that [in the team] is where we all want to be but, at the same time, we appreciate there are a lot of games coming up." 

Premier League round-up

Arsenal left it late to beat Norwich City and climb into third place, while in the scrap for survival Aston Villa could only draw with Fulham.

Queens Park Rangers lost to Everton and Reading drew with Liverpool as both sides slipped ever closer to relegation, while Southampton were held 1-1 by West Ham United at St Mary's.

Arsenal boosted their UEFA Champions League hopes after a dramatic 3-1 victory which leaves Norwich still embroiled in the relegation battle.

The Gunners have been in fine form recently and had Jack Wilshere back in the starting line-up, but they were frustrated by an organised Norwich side in the first half at Emirates Stadium and created few chances apart from an Olivier Giroud header which hit the woodwork.

It got even better for the Canaries in the 56th minute as Michael Turner headed in a Robert Snodgrass free-kick to stun the Arsenal faithful.

But Arsenal, who were beaten in the reverse fixture at Carrow Road earlier in the season, were awarded a penalty which incensed Norwich in the 85th minute for a tug by Kei Kamara on Giroud, and MikelArteta stepped up slot home the spot-kick.

A SebastienBassong own goal on 88 minutes put the Gunners in front following an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cross, and there was still time for Lukas Podolski to fire in a third which takes Arsene Wenger's men one point above London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

Everton are also still in contention for a top-four finish after moving to within three points of Chelsea and Spurs thanks to a 2-0 triumph at home to QPR.

Harry Redknapp lamented QPR's cruel luck after Shaun Maloney's late equaliser for Wigan last weekend, and fortune went against his side once more to give Everton the breakthrough at Goodison Park, with Darron Gibson's 40th-minute strike taking a wicked deflection off Clint Hill to wrong-foot Julio Cesar.

An Everton onslaught at the start of the second period was rewarded in the 56th minute as Sylvain Distin headed towards goal and Victor Anichebe flicked it on to beat Cesar, with QPR unable to respond and left seven points adrift of safety with just five games remaining.

Reading also appear destined to be playing Championship football next season after playing out a goalless stalemate with Liverpool.


After a minute's silence at the Madejski Stadium to mark the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, Liverpool started the match strongly but were thwarted by a series of Alex McCarthy saves as Reading somehow reached half-time still on level terms.

The Royals looked more solid after the break and held on to collect their first point under Nigel Adkins, but they could not find the goal they realistically needed to stay in with a chance.

Aston Villa inched further clear of the drop zone but had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Fulham.

Christian Benteke squandered a good opportunity and Charles N'Zogbia had a shot repelled by Mark Schwarzer in a goalless first half, but Villa were not to be denied and took the lead in the 55th minute.

N'Zogbia, playing in place of the injured Gabriel Agbonlahor, grabbed the goal as Fulham failed to get the ball clear and he curled an exquisite finish inside the far post with his left foot.

However, Villa's good work was undone after 66 minutes when Fabian Delph inadvertently glanced a header into his own net from a corner to the near post, leaving Paul Lambert's men perched precariously three points above the bottom three.

Southampton and West Ham played out a 1-1 draw which keeps both teams comfortably placed in mid-table.

Rickie Lambert came closest to opening the scoring before the break as JussiJaaskelainen produced a great stop from close range, before Gaston Ramirez made it 1-0 on 59 minutes with a goal that was created fortunately but finished clinically.

The Uruguayan's initial shot was blocked but the ball broke kindly for him as he darted through on goal and calmly lifted his shot over the onrushing Jaaskelainen.

Andy Carroll quickly drew the Hammers level with a deflected free-kick but neither side could find a winner.