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United and City keep Premier League pack at bay

Published on Nov 29, 2012 6:26 AM
West Ham United's James Tomkins (left) challenges Manchester United's Wayne Rooney during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, Nov 28, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS  

LONDON (AFP) - Robin van Persie scored the fastest goal of the English Premier League season as Manchester United stayed a point clear at the top with a 1-0 win over West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The Dutch forward needed just 33 seconds to give United the lead when, after receiving the ball from Michael Carrick, his first touch eluded Winston Reid before his finish deflected off James Collins and looped over Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Van Persie's goal was all the more extraordinary as, prior to Wednesday's match, United had conceded the first goal 13 times already this season.

However, they remained just a point in front after reigning champions and local rivals Manchester City, who won 2-0 away to Wigan.

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