London, August 28:

Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy scored second-half goals on Sunday to give Manchester United a 2-0 victory at Newcastle, the third win in three Premier League games as the Red Devils try to keep pace with leader Chelsea. Rooney broke through in the 66th, charging into the area and driving a loose ball behind Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given. Van Nistelrooy added the clincher in injury time, set up by Rooney. Newcastle is headed the other way. The Magpies are winless in four games and have yet to score. Newcastle, Sunderland and Portsmouth are the only three clubs without victories. In Sunday’s other match, Dennis Rommedahl, Chris Perry and Darren Bent scored in Charlton’s 3-0 victory at Middlesbrough. The Addicks, like Man United, have won their first three Premier League games. Defending champion Chelsea leads with 12 points followed by Manchester City with 10 and Charlton and Manchester United with nine. Bolton and Tottenham have seven. Newcastle started Albert Luque, playing immediately after a $17 million transfer from Deportivo La Coruna. He almost scored after only 12 minutes, putting the ball behind Man United ‘keeper Edwin van der Sar, but the played was called offside. Rooney’s goal came after France defender Jean-Alain Boumsong allowed the ball to bounce past him. The Englishman pounced and beat the flat-footed Given. A minute into injury time, Van Nistelrooy scored his third of the season off a pass from Rooney.

Spanish La Liga

MADRID: Veteran goalkeeper Roberto Bonano thwarted four first-half shots in quick succession and then denied Ronaldinho three times to give newly promoted Alaves a goalless draw with defending champion FC Barcelona on Saturday in the opening match of the Spanish league season. Barcelona dominated the game at Mendizorroza stadium but couldn’t solve Bonano, who played for the Catalan club from 2001-2004. In later games, Athletic Bilbao’s Fran Yeste scored the season’s first goal in his team’s 3-0 victory over Real Sociedad,

while a Pablo Aimar strike gave Valencia a 1-0 win over Real Betis. Bilbao won by scoring three second-half goals to overcome fellow Basque club Real Sociedad. Yeste’s opening goal in the 48th from a low shot was followed five minutes later by another from striker Fernando Llorente, who capitalised on a loose ball. Luis Prieto scored Bilbao’s third in the 81st when he turned home Roberto “Tiko” Martinez’s free kick.

Valencia gave recently installed coach Quique Sanchez Flores a winning start against a lackluster Betis, which seemed fatigued by Tuesday’s draw with AS Monaco which sent it into the European Champions League group stage for the first time.

Argentina forward Aimar decided the game by beating substitute goalkeeper Pedro Contreras in the 53rd minute after the ball rebounded off Betis defender Juanito Gutierrez.