United extend lead at summit

BY foxsports • April 11, 2011

With second-placed Arsenal not in action until Sunday - albeit with two games in hand now - United were comfortable as Dimitar Berbatov (12) and Antonio Valencia (32) put them two goals up by the break. Nani played a starring role as he set up Berbatov following a lovely run forward before crossing to allow Valencia to nod home the second and while Fulham refused to roll over, there was never any danger of United being denied. The Red Devils strolled to victory in the end but Tottenham endured a rather more difficult afternoon against Stoke. Peter Crouch and Luka Modric put them two goals to the good inside minutes but Matthew Etherington and Kenwyne Jones scored screamers either side of a second for Crouch to set up a tense second half. Spurs held on, however, to maintain their bid for the final Champions League spot. Chelsea had their own struggle against Wigan at Stamford Bridge but Florent Malouda made the most of an Ali Al Habsi flap to fire home after a goalmouth scramble, and his goal, in the 67th minute, proved enough for the reigning champions. Fernando Torres came on in the second half but missed two good chances to break his Blues duck. West Brom, meanwhile, continued their resurgence under Roy Hodgson as they all but assured their Premier League status with a fine 3-2 victory at Sunderland. Baggies defender Nicky Shorey headed into his own net and though Peter Odemwingie slammed home an equaliser, Phil Bardsley's rifled long-ranger made it 2-1 to the Black Cats. Youssouf Mulumbu levelled early in the second half after being played in by Odemwingie and the same provider assisted once again for the Baggies' third, Odemwingie crossing low from the right for Paul Scharner to sweep home and earn the win. Albion moved above Sunderland and into the top half with the three points but West Ham remain deep in trouble after a brace from Daniel Sturridge and one from Lee Chung-Yong saw them beaten 3-0 at Bolton. Sturridge's sublime left-footed curler put the Trotters in front at the Reebok Stadium before Lee headed home the second after 20 minutes. Sturridge's made it 3-0 after the break to cap a fine individual performance. Blackburn claimed a 1-1 draw against Birmingham in the day's other 3pm kick-off after Junior Hoilett cancelled out Lee Bowyer's opener just before half-time. Both sides moved three points clear of the bottom three with the result.

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