West Brom Defeats in Huge Margin


Manchester United set a new Premier League record with an 11th consecutive clean sheet and maintained their grip on top place in the table with a 5-0 demolition of bottom side West Brom on Tuesday.


The stroll at The Hawthorns left United three points clear of Liverpool, who play at Wigan on Wednesday evening, and Aston Villa, who moved up to joint second place with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Portsmouth.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with what he described as a "ruthless" display that enabled his side to significantly improve their goal difference, which he feels could prove decisive in what is a very tight title battle.


"The scoreline was very important to us," the Scot said after watching his side improve their goal difference to +29, the same mark as Chelsea and seven better than Liverpool.


"Goal difference could play a part and over the years we have always had an advantage over our opponents, so it was a satisfying result in that respect."


United's kick-off was delayed by half an hour because of traffic congestion but the champions wasted no time in seizing control of the match.


With 21 minutes gone, Dimitar Berbatov played a one-two with Michael Carrick before slotting the ball past Scott Carson for his 11th goal of the season.


The Baggies then had defender Paul Robinson sent off for what was -- perhaps harshly -- adjudged to be a dangerous challenge on Park Ji-Sung before Carlos Tevez doubled United's lead just before half-time, firing in from close range after Carson dropped a Ryan Giggs freekick.


A Giggs corner enabled Nemanja Vidic to head in United's third on the hour mark and a Cristiano Ronaldo double rounded off a performance that enabled United to eclipse Chelsea's Premier League clean sheet record.


Emile Heskey marked his debut for Aston Villa with the only goal of the game at Portsmouth as Martin O'Neill's men again displayed their ability to grind out results in their pursuit of a top-four finish and a place in next season's Champions League.


Heskey latched on to Gabriel Agbonlahor's flick-on from goalkeeper Brad Friedel's clearance and fired past David James from just outside the area to start paying back the 3.5 million pounds it cost Villa to sign him from Wigan.


"It is always hard to fit into a new team but I enjoyed it out there," Heskey said. "I had good times with Martin at Leicester and I hope to have more here."


Tottenham pulled three points clear of the relegation zone with a convincing 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Stoke at White Hart Lane.


The game was over as a contest after only 25 minutes as goals from Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe and Michael Dawson put Spurs in control.


James Beattie pulled one back for Stoke 12 minutes after the interval but there was no way back for the Premier League newcomers, who remain second from bottom.


Tottenham's win was orchestrated by Luka Modrid and manager Harry Redknapp paid tribute to the Croatian playmaker.


"He showed against a strong, physical team that he is a great footballer and has a massive heart. He never shirks receiving the ball, he's a top, top player."
Trinidad and Tobago star Kenwyne Jones celebrated signing a new long-term contract with Sunderland by scoring his side's winner against Fulham, who are rapidly sliding towards trouble after a positive start to this season.
The decisive strike from Jones came ten minutes after half-time with the striker firing home the loose ball after Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer had parried a shot from Djibril Cisse.

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