LONDON (AFP) - Manchester United returned to the top of the Premier League, if possibly only for a few hours, with a 2-0 win away to Queens Park Rangers on Sunday. Victory left the English champions a point in front of local rivals Manchester City, who can regain top spot when they face Arsenal later Sunday. United needed just under a minute to take the lead at Loftus Road with England striker Wayne Rooney heading home a cross from Antonio Valencia after releasing the Ecuadorian down the right. Sir Alex Ferguson's side had several other first half chances and were unlucky when Danny Welbeck was incorrectly ruled offside in the 23rd minute. But United doubled their lead in the 56th minute when Michael Carrick intercepted a loose square ball from Rangers midfielder Joey Barton. The England international was allowed to advance by the Londoners' retreating defence and then beat Radek Cerny at the goalkeeper's near post with a shot from the edge of the box for what was his first Premier League goal for United in nearly two years. "We should have put the game to bed after about half an hour," United manager Ferguson told the BBC. "It was a good team performance; we played some good football and will take a 2-0 win away from home," he added. "We have been a bit sparse in terms of goals scored recently but we won 4-1 last week (at home to Wolves) and scored two today, some would say we should have scored more." Elsewhere, Liverpool moved above Newcastle and into sixth place with a 2-0 win away to Aston Villa. Both their goals came from corners, with Craig Bellamy forcing the ball home from close range in the 11th minute. And four minutes later, the unmarked Martin Skrtel rose highest to head in past American keeper Brad Guzan. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was twice denied by the woodwork after the break as Villa struggled in the absence of strikers Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor through injury and suspension respectively. Tottenham, who started the day in fourth place, were at home to Sunderland in a 1500GMT kick-off clash Sunday.