Man U wins its second straight League Cup title
WEMBLEY, England — Wayne Rooney scored on a header in the 74th minute as Manchester United retained the League Cup with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
"I had a little bit of a sore knee for a couple of weeks," Rooney said. "And I felt it in the game."
In a sign of where England's second-tier knockout competition fits among coach Alex Ferguson's priorities — behind the Champions League and Premier League — Michael Owen started over Rooney.
That gave the oft-injured Owen a platform to persuade national coach Fabio Capello to include him in his World Cup squad. Owen tied it at 1 but left in the 42nd minute (hamstring).
"I didn't think of who was watching," Owen said. "I just want to play for Man United."
Ivory Coast: Coach Vahid Halilhodzic was fired less than four months before the World Cup opener. The federation cited the quarterfinal loss in January's African championship.
Djokovic takes another in Dubai
Novak Djokovic won his second straight Dubai Championship, beating Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in the United Arab Emirates. Djokovic led 7-5, 2-0 before rain suspended play Saturday. Sunday, there were seven service breaks among 19 games.
Delray Beach: Ernests Gulbis beat Ivo Karlovic 6-2, 6-3 for his first ATP title. He won 45 of his 48 service games in the event.
Davis Cup: Nicolas Almagro will replace Juan Carlos Ferrero for Spain's first-round match against Switzerland this weekend. Ferrero hurt his knee during Saturday's loss in the final of the Mexican Open.
CollegeS: Junior Carlin went 2-for-4 to raise his average to a team-leading .400, but USF baseball lost 4-2 to Michigan in St. Petersburg to end the Big East-Big Ten Challenge. The Big East was 17-13 in the three-day event. … The Florida women's track and field team won the SEC Indoor Championship, and the men finished second to host Arkansas. UF's Calvin Smith of Lutz won the 200-meter and anchored a 4x400 relay victory.
Horses: Sam F. Davis winner Rule is one of 32 3-year-olds nominated for the Grade III $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby, one of four Festival Day stakes races on March 13 at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar. The Grade III $175,000 Florida Oaks attracted 24 3-year-old fillies. The Grade III $150,000 Hillsborough attracted 32 older fillies and mares, and the $75,000 Turf Dash got 29 sprinters 3 years and older. Entries close March 10.
Greyhounds: Filipelli & O'Donnell and Patriot share the kennel standings lead with 101 wins at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg.
Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires