Derby spoils send United closer to title

Manchester United FC can retain the Premier League title on Saturday after a 2-0 win against Manchester City FC lifted them three points clear of Liverpool FC, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tévez scoring the goals to settle the derby.

Four points required
With the Merseyside contenders not back in action until their trip to West Bromwich Albion FC next Sunday, United can wrap up their third straight championship if they take at least four points from their away game at Wigan Athletic FC on Wednesday and home contest against Arsenal FC three days later.

Deflected strike
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were tenacious from the off at Old Trafford and the only surprise was that it took them 18 minutes to prise open their local rivals’ defence. The manner is which they did so was not unfamiliar, however, Ronaldo scoring from a free-kick after his deflected drive wrong-footed goalkeeper Shay Given.

Tévez influence
Tévez was influential throughout, striking the woodwork before adding the second goal when he received a more favourable bounce off the post when turning in Dimitar Berbatov’s cross on the stroke of half-time. Robinho and Martin Petrov missed presentable chances to set up a tense finale while Tévez was again denied by the post with a late header. City stay tenth, three points adrift of a UEFA Europa League place with two games remaining.

Chelsea rampant
In Sunday’s other match, Chelsea FC convincingly won the contest between the beaten UEFA Champions League semi-finalists by overcoming Arsenal 4-1. The visitors sewed the points up four minutes after the restart when a Kolo Touré own goal added to first-half strikes from Alex and Nicolas Anelka. Substitute Nicklas Bendtner pulled one back, but Florent Malouda confirmed Chelsea’s biggest league win at their London opponents since 1970 and ensured the Gunners will only finish fourth this season. Newcastle United FC host fellow strugglers Middlesbrough FC on Monday.

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~ by awbroady on May 11, 2009.

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