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LONDON - Premier League leaders Manchester United piled the pressure on second-placed Liverpool by moving six points clear at the top with a 2-0 win away to relegation-threatened Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Goals either side of half-time from Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung secured the easy win.
"It was a very good performance in the sense that they all worked their socks off," said Ferguson, whose side are bidding to equal Liverpool's record of 18 English titles.
Chelsea, at full strength ahead of the second leg of their Champions League semifinal second leg against Barcelona, moved level on points with Liverpool after a 3-1 home win in the west London derby against Fulham, the first three goals coming in the opening 10 minutes.
The match at Stamford Bridge was not yet 60 seconds old when Nicolas Anelka scored after Florent Malouda's cross was held up by Didier Drogba.
But Chelsea's lead lasted just three minutes before Erik Nevland unleashed a shot which Petr Cech got a hand to but could not keep out.
Fulham, the surprise package of the Premier League season, were behind again in the 10th minute when John Pantsil was unable to cut out Drogba's cross and Malouda scored at the back post.
Drogba got on the scoresheet early in the second-half after strike partner Anelka returned the Ivorian's earlier favour.
Elsewhere Arsenal's 3-0 win away to Portsmouth at Fratton Park ensured the "Big Four" - United, Liverpool, Chelsea and the Gunners - would all look down on the rest of the table come the end of the season.
Victory left fourth-placed Arsenal 13 points clear of Aston Villa with only a maximum of 12 available to the Midlands club, who play Hull today.
The Gunners, much changed ahead of the second leg of their Champions League clash with holders United, were helped on their way when England goalkeeper David James made his latest high-profile mistake by letting Nicklas Bendtner's weak header slip through his fingers.
The Dane made it 2-0 four minutes before half-time from the penalty spot following a disputed foul by Sean Davis on Andrey Arshavin.
Pompey were punished for missing chances early in the second-half when Carlos Vela added a third Arsenal goal and the hosts then saw Noe Pamarot sent-off for a foul on Arshavin.
Manchester City left Blackburn Rovers nervously looking over their shoulders after a 3-1 win at Eastlands where South American trio Felipe Caicedo, Robinho and Elano all scored before the break.
Blackburn next play Portsmouth with the winners all but guaranteed survival and Rovers boss Sam Allaryce said: "We want to make sure we get three points next week. If we do that it will be in the bag and we won't have to rely on what other people do." - Sapa-AFP