Sat | Mar 25, 2023

Man U close gap at the top

Published:Sunday | April 18, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Manchester United moved within a point of Chelsea in the Premier League title race on Saturday, thanks to Paul Scholes' injury-time winner in a 1-0 victory at Manchester City and Tottenham's 2-1 triumph over the leader.

Scholes' header at City gave Alex Ferguson's team 76 points from 35 games, and first-half goals by Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale spurred Tottenham on to a win which leaves Chelsea with 77 from 35 with three rounds to go. Chelsea captain John Terry was sent off in the second half before Frank Lampard replied in injury time.

The victory also lifted Spurs, who also beat Arsenal 2-1 on Wednesday, into fourth place, above Man City, and Harry Redknapp's team now have a two-point advantage in the race for a Champions League spot.

Both teams missed chances in the Manchester derby at Eastlands before Scholes was left unmarked in the City area to head home a cross from Patrice Evra in the third minute of stoppage time.

"We deserved to win the match, no question. But I couldn't see a goal coming," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "I decided to put Scholes a bit further forward and it paid off. He was man of the match today. He was wonderful, he's such a skilful player."

The victory put pressure on Chelsea, who were four points ahead at the start of the day.

Tottenham went ahead from the penalty spot in the 15th minute when Terry was ruled to have handled, and Defoe fired home the spot kick. It was 2-0 just before half-time when Bale fired past goalkeeper Petr Cech at his near post.

Terry was sent off for a second yellow card midway through the second half which means he misses Chelsea's next game against Stoke.

Promoted last season through the playoffs, next-to-last Burnley look likely to return to the League Championship after a 2-1 loss at Sunderland.

First-half strikes by strikers Fraizer Campbell and Darren Bent, who scored his 23rd league goal of the season, put Sunderland in control at the Stadium of Light.

Burnley, who replied through Steven Thompson in the 82nd minute, are still four points from safety with three games to play. West Ham, 17th, visit Liverpool tomorrow.

Hull also remain deep in trouble in 18th place despite a 0-0 draw at Birmingham. Iain Dowie's team has one more point than Burnley but has four games left.

Tim Cahill scored a last-minute winner in Everton's 3-2 victory at Blackburn.

Mikel Arteta gave the visitors the lead with a fourth-minute penalty after he had been brought down by Ryan Nelsen. Steve Nzonzi equalised in the 69th and, although Ayegbeni Yakubu made it 2-1 to Everton 10 seconds after he entered the game in the 79th minute, Jason Roberts scored in the 81st for 2-2.


Matt Taylor scored two goals in the last six minutes as Bolton won 2-1 at Stoke to secure Premier League safety, and Wolves edged closer with a 0-0 draw at Fulham.

Third-place Arsenal are not in action until today when they go to relegation-threatened Wigan. Aston Villa go to already relegated last-place Portsmouth.

Norwich captured promotion from third-tier League One a year after they were relegated, and Notts County and Rochdale went up from League Two. It was Rochdale's first promotion in 41 years; the team had stayed in the fourth tier since 1974.

Stevenage will join the Football League for the first time next season after gaining promotion from the Conference following a 2-0 victory at Kidderminster.