LONDON - Ryan Giggs scored two penalties as reigning champions Manchester United returned to the top of the English Premier League with a 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Victory moved United two points in front of Chelsea with two games to play as they once again scored important late goals, in a match which was all square at 1-1 with 10 minutes left.
United's joy was tempered by fears England striker Wayne Rooney, who sat out the Spurs match, may miss the end of the season with a groin injury.
"I think it will probably take two or three weeks," said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson of Rooney's injury recovery.
The first of Giggs's penalties, awarded after Patrice Evra was brought down in the box by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, gave United the lead in the 58th minute.
But Tottenham, fresh from wins over Arsenal and Chelsea, equalised in the 70th minute when injury-prone central defender Ledley King headed in a corner.
United hit back when Portuguese ace Nani broke down the right and chipped goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
Veteran midfielder Giggs then sealed United's victory with his second spot-kick four minutes from time after Nani went down under a challenge from Wilson Palacios.
"We have beaten probably the form team of the league which says a lot for us," Ferguson said. "We played well, that was important . [and] we kept our nerve."
Spurs stayed fourth in the table, and in the final Champions League qualifying spot on offer to English clubs, after arch-rivals Arsenal did them a favour by holding Manchester City to a goalless draw at the Emirates in Saturday's late kick-off.
City closed to within a point of Spurs but had to substitute Shay Given after the goalkeeper appeared to dislocate his shoulder.
West Ham moved six points clear of the relegation zone with a come-from-behind 3-2 home win over Wigan.
The Hammers were 1-0 down in just the fourth minute after Jonathan Spector's own-goal. But they were back on level terms when in-form striker Araujo Ilan turned in Carlton Cole's cross in the 31st minute.
And the east Londoners took the lead when Radoslav Kovac followed up on the stroke of half-time after Mark Noble's 25-yard free-kick was clawed away by Chris Kirkland.
Wigan saw Hugo Rodallega equalise from an early second-half corner.
However, Scott Parker eased the pressure on Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola with a 25-yard drive in the 77th minute.
Hull were all but relegated after Sunderland won 1-0 at the KC Stadium thanks to Darren Bent's seventh minute tap-in, his 25th goal of the season.
The Tigers, six points adrift with two games to play and a hugely inferior goal difference, could have equalised before half-time but Jimmy Bullard's penalty hit the post.
Both sides received a red card late in the first half after Hull's US striker Jozy Altidore and Sunderland's Alan Hutton clashed.
Aruna Dindane scored twice as already-relegated Portsmouth came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 away to Bolton Wanderers while Wolves, still not mathematically safe, and Blackburn Rovers drew 1-1 at Molineux. - Sapa-AFP