Rooney hammers West Ham United

MANCHESTER: Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United kept the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea by defeating West Ham United 3-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

United's sixth successive home league win saw the champions move to within one point of Chelsea, having played a game more, as England striker Rooney made it 19 goals in 19 outings and 27 in all competitions this season. Michael Owen added a third 10 minutes from time.

Starting the match four points behind leaders Chelsea, Ferguson opted to bring Ben Foster back in from the cold for a match United simply had to win.

Anderson's match was cut short inside the opening 20 minutes, the Brazilian going off with a twisted knee which could wreck his hopes of appearing at Wembley at the weekend.

Rooney headed home from eight-yards after connecting with Valencia's superb volleyed cross. The goal awoke United from their slumber. Rooney almost doubled the lead moments later with a spectacular long-range effort which landed on the roof of the net.

Rooney put the game out of West Ham's reach when he pulled away from his marker to meet Valencia's excellent 55th minute cross to nod past Green. Owen came off the bench to put the result beyond doubt with his first league goal since September -- a clinical finish from Paul Scholes' 80th minute pass.