Manchester United rout West Brom to go three points clear
Champions Manchester United stormed clear at the top of the English Premier League on Tuesday after they crushed 10-man West Bromwich Albion 5-0 at the Hawthorns, dpa reported.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as United moved three points ahead of Liverpool, who play on Wednesday, and also set a new record for minutes without conceding a goal.
United now have 50 points, three better than Liverpool and Aston Villa, who won 1-0 at Portsmouth on Tuesday.
Champions United took a 22-minute lead at West Brom through Dimitar Berbatov and the match was effectively over when Paul Robinson was controversially sent off five minutes before the break.
The West Brom captain was sent off for a challenge on Park-Ji Sung but replays suggested it may have been a harsh decision.
Four minutes later, the match was well and truly over when West Brom goalkeeper Scott Carson dropped the ball at the feet of Carlos Tevez, who scored with ease.
Nemanja Vidic headed the third goal on the hour mark and Ronaldo scored twice to seal a comprehensive victory and leave West Brom still stuck at the bottom of the table.
The icing on the cake for United came when they overtook Chelsea's run of 1,025 minutes without conceding a goal - setting a new Premier League record.
Emile Heskey scored on his debut for Villa to give them a 1-0 win at Portsmouth, moving them level with Liverpool.
Portsmouth had Nadir Balhadj sent off for a second booking 19 minutes from time.
Kenwyne Jones, who signed a new contract with Sunderland on Tuesday, scored the only goal in his side's 1-0 win over Fulham.
The three points moved Sunderland up to 11th place, two spots above Tottenham Hotspur, who gave themselves breathing space over the relegation zone with a 3-1 win over Stoke City.
Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe and Michael Dawson scored the goals to clinch victory for Harry Redknapp's side.