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Man-U beat Newcastle extend lead
LONDON, Mar 5 (Agencies):
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Published on 5 Mar. 2009 11:53 PM IST
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Manchester United took another big step towards a third straight English title after coming from behind to beat Newcastle 2-1 and reclaim a seven-point lead at the top of the table. Wins for Liverpool and Chelsea 24 hours earlier had encouraged thoughts of the title battle being opened up once more, which were further encouraged by Peter Lovenkrands 9th-minute opener for Newcastle. But the stumble United’s rivals had hoped for failed to materialise as United hit back through Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov. Elsewhere, Manchester City dented Aston Villa’s hopes of securing Champions League football next season with a 2-0 win at Eastlands while Stoke escaped from the relegation zone by beating Bolton by the same margin. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitted his side had not been at their best but paid tribute to his players’ determination. “It wasn’t a great performance,” admitted the Scot. “We got off to a terrible start, and Newcastle were pumped up for it. “But coming from 1-0 down was a good result for us. It required a lot of grit.” As well as a seven-point cushion, United have a game in hand over their rivals as they seek to close out the campaign. Newcastle ended Edwin van der Sar’s record-breaking run without conceding a goal in a league match at 1,311 minutes - courtesy of a rare error by the Dutchman - but the Magpies proved incapable of defending their early lead. Elano celebrated his return to Manchester City’s starting line-up by netting a first-half penalty as City ended Villa’s run of ten consecutive away victories in the league with a 2-0 win at Eastlands. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitted his side had not been at their best but paid tribute to his players’ determination. “It wasn’t a great performance,” admitted the Scot. “We got off to a terrible start, and Newcastle were pumped up for it. “But coming from 1-0 down was a good result for us. It required a lot of grit.” As well as a seven-point cushion, United have a game in hand over their rivals as they seek to close out the campaign. Newcastle ended Edwin van der Sar’s record-breaking run without conceding a goal in a league match at 1,311 minutes - courtesy of a rare error by the Dutchman - but the Magpies proved incapable of defending their early lead. Elano celebrated his return to Manchester City’s starting line-up by netting a first-half penalty as City ended Villa’s run of ten consecutive away victories in the league with a 2-0 win at Eastlands. The Brazilian playmaker slotted the spot-kick home after James Milner had tripped Shaun Wright-Phillips and it was Wright-Phillips who sealed City’s 5th successive home win two minutes from time. The defeat left Villa with just a three-point cushion over Arsenal in the battle for fourth place and the final Champions League qualifying spot but manager Martin O’Neill denied his side were beginning to display jitters. Results Tottenham 4-0 Middlesbrough Fulham 0-1 Hull City Stoke 2-0 Bolton Blackburn 0-0 Everton Wigan 0-1 West Ham

 
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