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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Manchester United stave off Spurs 3-1 to stay behind City

London: Ashley Young scored twice as Manchester United cruised to a 3-1 victory at Tottenham on Sunday, effectively knocking the hosts out of the Premier League title race while keeping the heat on leaders Manchester City.

Wayne Rooney's 23rd goal of the season preceded Young's double as the defending champions surged 11 points clear of third-placed Tottenham to sit two points behind City.

United, though, had initially been forced to soak up sustained Tottenham pressure, with striker Emmanuel Adebayor having a goal ruled out for handball.

United broke through at the end of the first half, with Rooney meeting Ashley Young's corner and heading past goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

"All the players knew we weren't playing to our full potential," Young said.

With Spurs lacking a clinical finisher in front of goal, Young put the match beyond them with two goals after the break. He volleyed United further in front on the hour and curled a 25-yard shot beyond Friedel in the 69th minute.

"We showed a determination to get the result, we dug in and defended well," United manager Alex Ferguson said.

Jermain Defoe pulled one back in the 87th but Tottenham slumped to their second successive setback after losing 5-2 at Arsenal last weekend.

Tottenham haven't beaten United for 11 years and are now unlikely to win their first English title since 1961, amid continued uncertainty over the future of manager Harry Redknapp, who is the leading contender to become England coach.


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