Football - Soccer-Van Persie strikes late to send United six clear

By Sonia Oxley

Eurosport

MANCHESTER, England, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Robin van Persie's stoppage-time free kick snatched a 3-2 victory for Manchester United in a pulsating derby at champions Manchester City to send them six points clear at the top of the Premier League on Sunday.

Wayne Rooney put the visitors ahead in the 16th minute against the run of play with a softly struck effort into the bottom left corner before doubling his tally just before the half-hour mark.

City pulled one back through Yaya Toure on 60 minutes before levelling in the 86th minute with Pablo Zabaleta's sweetly struck shot but any thoughts of a draw were short-lived when Van Persie launched a free kick into the bottom left corner.

United's celebrations were marred when defender Rio Ferdinand was left bloodied above his left eye after being struck by an object thrown from the crowd.

The result ends City's almost two-year unbeaten home run in the league and puts United in the driving seat in the title race with 39 points from 16 matches, while City are on 33.

(Reporting by Sonia Oxley; Editing by Justin Palmer)

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