London - Manchester United have doggedly overturned a two-goal deficit to win 3-2
against Hull City at the KC Stadium on Thursday and clamber into the
Premier League's top six.
Early goals from James Chester and David
Meyler gave Hull a 2-0 lead in the first of the traditional Boxing Day
fixtures, only for Chris Smalling and Wayne Rooney to bring United
Rooney's goal, a sumptuous volley, was his 150th for the
club in the top flight and he contributed to the winner in the 66th
minute by pressuring Chester, a one-time United youth player, to put
through his own goal.
Victory, United's fifth in a row in all
competitions, provisionally lifted David Moyes's side to sixth place in
the table, five points behind leaders Liverpool.
"To be two down and come back to win is a great result," United manager Moyes told the BBC.
a long way to go in the league and we have to keep picking up points. I
believe we can be in the mix and challenge whoever is near the top."
Fletcher made his first United start since December last year following
nearly 12 months on the sidelines with a chronic bowel condition, but
inattentive defending saw the champions fall 2-0 down inside 13 minutes.
former United trainees combined to put Hull ahead in the fourth minute,
with Alex Bruce heading down a right-wing corner for Chester to volley
home his first ever Premier League goal.
Meyler added a second
with a mishit shot that United defender Jonny Evans inadvertently
deflected past goalkeeper David de Gea after the leaden-footed visitors
squandered several opportunities to clear.
United then lost Rafael
da Silva to an apparent groin injury, but his replacement, Adnan
Januzaj, won the free-kick from which Rooney crossed for Smalling to
reduce the arrears with a 19th-minute header.
Rooney tied the
scores seven minutes later with a fine goal, cushioning the ball on his
thigh and unleashing a crisp volley from 22 yards that swerved into the
Hull lost goalkeeper Allan McGregor to injury at the interval, while Fletcher made way for Javier Hernandez after 61 minutes.
threatened to restore Hull's lead with a header from a Tom Huddlestone
corner that hit the crossbar, but moments later United completed their
comeback when Chester headed into his own net under pressure from
It was only Hull's second home defeat of the season, but
United's sense of achievement was tempered in the last minute when
Antonio Valencia was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for
All 18 remaining Premier League teams are in action
later on Thursday, with Arsenal looking to regain top spot from
Liverpool by winning at West Ham United.
Liverpool currently lead
Arsenal on goal difference, but Brendan Rodgers's side will face a stern
test away to third-place Manchester City in the late kick-off.
Chelsea, two points behind Liverpool and Arsenal, host Swansea City,
while Everton, who began the day level on points with Chelsea in fifth
place, tackle bottom club Sunderland.