Man U march towards title ruthlessly

Carlos Tevez helped Manchester United take a giant stride towards the Premier League title as Sir Alex Ferguson's side coasted to victory over Manchester City at Old Trafford yesterday.

Carlos Tevez helped Manchester United take a giant stride towards the Premier League title as Sir Alex Ferguson's side coasted to victory over Manchester City at Old Trafford yesterday.

Tevez, whose future at United is in doubt, scored in the 2-0 victory which sent Ferguson's side three points clear at the top of the table with three games remaining.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 26th goal of the campaign had given the hosts an early lead before Argentina striker Tevez doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Tevez celebrated his 14th goal of the campaign by running over the main stand, close to where the United manager sat, and cupping his ears while the crowd chanted "Fergie, Fergie, sign him up".

The result leaves the Champions League finalists requiring just four points from their remaining three matches to be crowned champions of England for a record 18th time.

Liverpool, their closest challengers, do not play until May 17 by which time the race could be all over as United have games at mid-table Wigan on Wednesday followed by a home match with Arsenal on May 16.

Rafa Benitez, the Liverpool manager, has been desperately hoping for a United slip but the truth is Ferguson's team is finishing the season in ruthless fashion.

This was their sixth successive league win since losing back-to-back games to Liverpool and Fulham in March.

The visitors never recovered from Ronaldo's stunning 18th minute opening goal - from a free-kick which deflected off Nigel De Jong before hitting the net.

City, who will play against Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in the Vodacom Challenge in July, were unimpressed the free-kick had been awarded in the first place, referee Chris Foy having harshly adjudged Stephen Ireland to have fouled Dimitar Berbatov.

City were saved by the bar in the 31st minute when Tevez rattled the woodwork with a sublime curling effort, before he scored in the dying moments of the first half with a powerful shot which hit the inside of the post before crossing the line. - Sapa-AFP

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