Giggs scores for United in his 999th game

Updated: February 23, 2013, 4:25 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Ryan Giggs scored in his 999th match by scoring in another age-defying, influential display to help Manchester United go provisionally 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

A late goal from the Welsh midfielder followed a fine strike by defender Rafael da Silva in a 2-0 victory over last-place Queens Park Rangers.

"He's delivered again," United manager Alex Ferguson said of the 39-year-old Giggs. "He's an amazing man."

Even if second-place Manchester City beats Chelsea on Sunday, Giggs seems headed for a 13th league title at the club where he has spent his entire career.

For traditional rival Arsenal, the season is mainly coming down to salvaging a place in the Champions League places.

And the north London club did manage to put its recent cup disappointments behind it with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa to go provisionally a point behind fourth-place Tottenham. Santi Cazorla scored twice against U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan either side of Andreas Weimann's goal for Villa.

Villa sunk back into the relegation zone with Wigan, which lost 3-0 to Reading and QPR.

Sixth-place Everton fell five points behind Arsenal after losing 2-1 at Norwich, and West Bromwich Albion rose to seventh by beating Sunderland by the same score.

Fulham defeated Stoke 1-0 thanks to Dimitar Berbatov's crisp volley right before half time.

Stoke forward Jonathan Walters missed a second-half penalty after Ashkan Dejagah had blocked a cross from Brek Shea with his arm.

Shea, a United States winger, replaced the injured Matthew Etherington in the 24th minute to make his first appearance for Stoke since joining from Major League Soccer club FC Dallas last month.


BERLIN -- Bayern Munich routed Werder Bremen 6-1 to maintain its march to the German title and help Jupp Heynckes celebrate his 1,000th Bundesliga game as player or coach.

The 67-year-old Heynckes, who will be replaced by Pep Guardiola next season and has signaled his intention to retire, was presented with a bouquet before kickoff in Munich to mark his achievement. Only Otto Rehhagel, with 1,037 games, has more.

Heynckes made six changes to the side that won 3-1 at Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday, giving Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez rare starts.

Robben seized his chance by scoring in the 25th and sent in a free kick for Javi Martinez to double the lead with a header four minutes later.

Sebastian Proedl was sent off for bringing down Gomez when the striker was through on goal.

Bayern moved provisionally 18 points clear of Borussia Dortmund ahead of the defending champion's visit to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday. The sides meet in a German Cup quarterfinal in Munich on Wednesday.


ATHENS, Greece -- Dimitris Salpingidis scored twice within eight minutes in the first half -- both times with overhead kicks -- and Klaus Athanasiadis added another in between to lead PAOK to a 3-1 win over last-place Kerkyra in the Greek league on Saturday.

The win helped PAOK rise into second place, 14 points behind league leader Olympiakos, which hosts Aris on Sunday, and two ahead of Asteras, which can reclaim second place if it beats Levadiakos at home on Sunday.


GLASGOW, Scotland -- Inverness reclaimed second place in the Scottish Premier League by beating Hearts 3-2 on Saturday.

Inverness went a point ahead of Motherwell, which lost 3-0 at Ross County, and St. Johnstone, which beat St. Mirren 1-0.

Celtic is 18 points ahead of Inverness at the top of the SPL as the Glasgow side tries to defend its title.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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