LONDRES (AP) — Manchester United venció el sábado 3-1 a Sunderland y conservó su ventaja de seis puntos sobre Manchester City en la cima de la liga Premier, después que el campeón del fútbol inglés derrotó por el mismo marcador a Newcastle.

Robin van Persie y Wayne Rooney marcaron sendos goles en Old Trafford por United, que ganó su quinto partido al hilo. Tom Cleverley agregó el otro tanto con un magnífico remate con comba.

Poco antes, el City se recuperó de su revés la semana pasada en el derbi contra United al ganar en St. James Park, con dianas del argentino Sergio "Kun" Agüero, Javi García y Yaya Touré.

Sin embargo, el equipo de Alex Ferguson se aseguró el primer puesto al menos hasta Navidad gracias a su desempeño ante Sunderland.

"Tuvimos tramos de muy buen fútbol y pudimos haber anotado muchos goles", comentó Ferguson. "Trataremos de mantener este buen momento".

Aston Villa frenó el buen momento de Liverpool al vencerlo 3-1, Everton empató 1-1 con Stoke, y Queens Park Rangers consiguió su primer triunfo en 17 partidos esta temporada al superar 2-1 a Fulham para salir del último puesto.

"Al menos nos mantiene en pelea", señaló el timonel de QPR, Harry Redknapp. "Hubiésemos estado totalmente desesperados de no haber ganado hoy".

Reading ahora ocupa el sótano de la liga, antes de su duelo el lunes contra Arsenal.

En otro encuentro el sábado, Norwich se apuntó su quinta victoria consecutiva como local al vencer 2-1 a Wigan, para quedar en séptimo lugar y sólo a dos unidades de los puestos de Liga de Campeones.

United, con Van Persie y Rooney engranando de maravillas, luche como una imponente máquina en este momento.

El holandés marcó su 12do gol de la temporada, para empatar con el español Michu (Swansea), a los 16 minutos, y Cleverley puso el 2-0 tres minutos después. Rooney hizo el tercero a los 59, con un pase de Van Persie.

Ferguson se dio el lujo de darle algunos minutos en la cancha al zaguero Nemanja Vidic, quien pisó la cancha por primera vez desde septiembre tras recuperarse de una lesión.

"Le tomará algo de tiempo, pero es un comienzo", señaló Ferguson. "Es un guerrero, y es nuestro capitán".

United ganó poco después que City se había acercado a tres puntos con su victoria en Newcastle.

Agüero y García le dieron ventaja de 2-0 al City antes del entretiempo, aunque Demba Ba descontó por Newcastle a los 51.

El City, que no contó con su lesionado capitán Vincent Kompany, aumentó la diferencia y selló el marcador a 12 minutos del final con un tanto de Yaya Touré.

"Fue importante, porque cuando vienes de una derrota —de cualquier derrota, pero especialmente contra United— es importante empezar ganando, y lo hicimos aquí, donde creo que no muchos equipos pueden ganar", comentó el técnico del City, Roberto Mancini.

El timonel italiano colocó a Carlos Tevez en la alineación titular del City en lugar de Mario Balotelli, que tuvo un pobre desempeño la semana pasada en el derbi. Con el argentino en el eje del ataque, los "Citizens" jugaron un primer tiempo impecable.

"La temporada es larga. El (Ferguson) sabe más que yo de fútbol. El sabe que este campeonato no se ha terminado", advirtió Mancini.

David Silva y Samir Nasri dirigieron la ofensiva de forma magistral, y el segundo dio el pase para el gol de Agüero, quien sólo tuvo que empujar la pelota al arco vacío para su sexto gol de la temporada.

García hizo el segundo al cabecear un córner de Silva.

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  • FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-SWANSEA

    Manchester United's Mexican forward Javier Hernandez (C) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on May 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Supporter wave red flags before Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson's last home game in charge of the club ahead of their English Premier League soccer match against Swansea, at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson shakes hands with supporters as he takes to the pitch for his last home game in charge of the club, their English Premier League soccer match against Swansea, at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson applauds as he twalks from the pitch at half time during his last home game in charge of the club, their English Premier League soccer match against Swansea, at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Supporter wave red flags before Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's last home game in charge of the club, their English Premier League soccer match against Swansea, at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring against Swansea during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes, center, makes his way from the pitch after being substituted during their English Premier League soccer match against Swansea City at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes, center, makes his way from the pitch after being substituted during their English Premier League soccer match against Swansea City at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie, centre right embraces team manager Sir Alex Ferguson celebrating as their team wins their 20th English Premier League title after their 3-0 win over Aston Villa in their soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

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  • Manchester United's goalkeeper David De Gea celebrates as his team wins their 20th English Premier League title after their 3-0 win over Aston Villa in their soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Seen through the goal netting Manchester United's Rafael, top, and Robin van Persie celebrate as they win their 20th English Premier League title after their 3-0 win over Aston Villa in their soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand, right, and Michael Carrick celebrate as they win their 20th English Premier League title after their 3-0 win over Aston Villa in their soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa, bottom, under pressure from Aston Villa's Nathan Baker during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie, centre, celebrates with teammate Wayne Rooney after scoring his second goal against Aston Villa during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday, April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie, background right, celebrates with teammate Ryan Giggs after scoring his second goal against Aston Villa, during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday, April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie, left, scores his first goal against Aston Villa during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League

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  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie, centre, celebrates after scoring against Aston Villa during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie, centre, celebrates after scoring against Aston Villa during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-ASTON VILLA

    Manchester United's Dutch striker Robin van Persie (2nd R) celebrates scoring his team's second goal against Aston Villa during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on April 22, 2013. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United is challenged by Nathan Baker of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on April 22, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with Michael Carrick and Rafael during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on April 22, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Manchester United fans display a banner to highlight the 19 league titles the team have won during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on April 22, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Liverpool's Luis Suarez after he appeared to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic during the English Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool, England, Sunday April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/ PA,Peter Byrne) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO ARCHIVE NO SALES

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Chelsea - Anfield

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  • Liverpool's Luis Suarez is seen during his team's 2-2 draw against Chelsea in their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday April 21, 2013. Suarez appeared to bite the arm of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic at the end of a tussle during the game. (AP Photo/PA, Peter Byrne) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO ARCHIVE NO SALES

  • Chelsea's Eden Hazard, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring against Liverpool during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

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  • CORRECTING SPELLING OF NAME DEMPSEY - Tottenham Hotspur's Clint Dempsey, left, fights for the ball with Manchester City's Samir Nasri, during their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Tottenham Hotspur won the match 3-1. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring against Chelsea during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Liverpool's Luis Suarez, right, scores against Chelsea during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

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  • CORRECTS STADIUM - Russian Police officers try to detain CSKA soccer team fans during a Russian Premier League Championship soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Police detained about 80 fans during the match. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)

  • Stoke's Andy Wilkinson, centre right, is bloodied after a clash with Manchester United's Javier Hernandez, left, during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke, England, Sunday April 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Stoke's Kenwyne Jones, right, fights for the ball against Manchester United's Phil Jones during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke, England, Sunday April 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates after his team's 2-0 win over Stoke in their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke, England, Sunday April 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Michael Carrick, left, keeps the ball from Stoke's Charlie Adam, second left, as Glenn Whelan, centre right, and Ryan Shawcross look on during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke, England, Sunday April 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Soccer - FA Cup - Semi Final - Chelsea v Manchester City - Wembley Stadium

    Manchester City's Samir Nasri celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game during the FA Cup, Semi Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Sunday April 14, 2013. (AP Photo/PA, Nick Potts)UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO ARCHIVE NO SALES

  • Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal to make the score 1-2 with Pablo Zabaleta (r) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on April 8, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Rafael, left, challenges Manchester City's Vincent Kompany during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, left, and Robin van Persie, right, react after Manchester City's James Milner scored during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Smoke from a flare hangs over the stadium during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester City's James Milner, right, celebrates with Samir Nasri after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match against Manchester United at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Phil Jones, center, heads the ball which hit Vincent Kompany, center left, of Manchester City to score an own goal during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United players fail to stop Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, in blue, from breaking through to score during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester City's James Milner, left, celebrates with Samir Nasri, 2nd left, after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match against Manchester United at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Phil Jones, center, heads the ball which hit Vincent Kompany, center left, of Manchester City to score an own goal during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring against Reading during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday March 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)