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Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012

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Lopsided victory: Liverpool's Jay Spearing (right) vies for the ball with Oldham's James Wesolowski during their F.A. Cup third-round match at Anfield on Friday night. Liverpool won 5-1. AP

Rooney denies he will leave Man United


MANCHESTER, England — Wayne Rooney has issued a joint statement with Manchester United denying he is set to leave the Premier League champions.

The action was prompted by a story in Saturday's edition of the Independent claiming that there are cracks in the relationship between Rooney and United manager Alex Ferguson.

The statement says "any suggestion that Manchester United and Wayne Rooney are to part company is complete nonsense" and that the England striker and Ferguson "have always had and retain the utmost respect for each other and look forward to working together in the coming seasons."

The 26-year-old Rooney tweeted: "The independent are talking absolute rubbish," before reiterating his commitment to United.

Liverpool rallies to win


LIVERPOOL, England — Steven Gerrard scored in his first start in more than two months as Liverpool came from behind at Anfield on Friday to beat third-tier club Oldham 5-1 and advance to the fourth round of the F.A. Cup.

Following three substitute appearances after his recovery from an ankle infection, Gerrard dispatched a penalty just before halftime to put his team in front against opponents 52 places below Liverpool in the league.

The match was overshadowed by police later opening an investigation after Oldham defender Tom Adeyemi appeared to be the target of crowd abuse from Liverpool fans. Adeyemi, who is black, was visibly upset after something was shouted from The Kop.

Merseyside Police said there had been no arrests "on suspicion of racially aggravated behavior" but "the Force and Liverpool Football Club are investigating following an incident that occurred during the second half of the game."

Oldham's Robbie Simpson gave the visitors a 28th-minute lead through a spectacular half-volley from 30 meters, but a deflected equalizer by Craig Bellamy within two minutes drew the hosts level.

Jonjo Shelvey struck his first Liverpool goal in the 68th minute, before substitutes Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing wrapped up the victory late on.

"The scoreline is a bit flattering really," said Liverpool manager Kevin Dalglish. "Oldham did their club and their manager proud. They created one or two threatening situations for themselves, especially in the first half, so getting back as quickly as we did with the equalizer helped us."

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