LONDON  - Sir Alex Ferguson branded Luis Suarez a "disgrace" as the racism feud between Manchester United and Liverpool exploded once more in a stormy Premier League clash at Old Trafford. Two goals from Wayne Rooney saw United score a 2-1 victory that sent the champions back to the top of the table, one point clear of Manchester City, who face Aston Villa on Sunday.

But the result almost became a footnote to another acrimonious encounter between the two bitter rivals, with Suarez lighting the fuse before kick-off after refusing to shake United captain Patrice Evra's hand. Suarez's pre-match snub came as he returned to Liverpool's starting line-up for the first time since his eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra during the two clubs' meeting in October.

Evra later reportedly attempted to confront Suarez over the incident at half-time, sparking a melee in the tunnel that required the intervention of police and stewards. A disgusted Ferguson lashed out at Suarez after the game, saying the Uruguayan had tarnished the reputation of Liverpool and should never play for the club again. "I couldn't believe it. I just could not believe it," Ferguson said.

"I had a chat with Patrice this morning and he said he was going to shake his hand. He said: 'I have nothing to be ashamed of.' "(Suarez) is a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club. He shouldn't be allowed to play for Liverpool again. The history that club's got, he could have caused a riot. It was terrible what he did. It was a terrible start to the game and it created a terrible atmosphere."

Ferguson said Evra was unwise to have celebrated in front of Suarez at the final whistle. "He shouldn't have done that." Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish  insisted he had not seen the handshake snub but lost his cool with a television interviewer at the suggestion it had led to the half-time tunnel bust-up.

"It's bang out of order to blame  Suarez for anything that happened today. How many bookings were there? The fans had a bit of banter," said Dalglish. In later matches , pressure mounted on Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas after the Blues crashed 2-0 at mid-table Everton. A Steven Pienaar goal after five minutes gave Everton the lead and Denis Stracqualursi doubled the Toffees' tally midway through the second half as Chelsea were squeezed out of fourth place.

A 90th-minute goal from Arsenal legend Thierry Henry gave the Gunners a 2-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to see Arsene Wenger's men move into fourth -- ahead of Chelsea on goals scored. James McLean fired Sunderland ahead on 70 minutes before Aaron Ramsey levelled for the Gunners five minutes later. Loan signing Henry then volleyed in the winner deep into injury time to sink the Black Cats.

Elsewhere, Blackburn climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers at Ewood Park. Ayegbeni Yakubu and Steven Nzonzi put Rovers 2-0 up before new QPR signing Nedum Onuoha's own goal piled on the misery for Rangers. Substitute Jamie Mackie scored twice for Rangers in the second half to give the visitors hope but it was too little, too late. Wigan grabbed only their fourth win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.  New Fulham signing Pavel Pogrebnyak scored a goal on his debut as the Cottagers beat Stoke 2-1. Norwich came from behind to down Swansea 3-2 .