Fri, Feb 02, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Man United sting Hornets 4-0

COLE CROCKED While the Red Devils and Chelsea both earned comfortable victories, the Blues' win was marred by a serious injury to their England defender Ashley Cole


Manchester United outplayed Watford 4-0 and Chelsea beat Blackburn 3-0 on Wednesday to maintain a six-point difference between the Red Devils and the Blues at the top of the English Premier League.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 23rd goal of the season from the penalty spot to start Manchester United's easy victory over the last place Hornets at Old Trafford. An own-goal by Lloyd Doyley increased United's lead and Wayne Rooney set up substitute Henrik Larsson and then added the fourth.

Early lead

Didier Drogba gave Chelsea a sixth-minute lead at Stamford Bridge when he collected a through ball from Frank Lampard and held off a challenge from Stephane Henchoz before converting.

Rovers' US goalkeeper Brad Friedel thwarted Andriy Shevchenko three times before Lampard added a second in the 67th minute. Salomon Kalou completed the scoring in the final minute.

The victory was marred by an injury to leftback Ashley Cole, who was carried off with knee ligament damage, possibly resulting from the state of the Stamford Bridge turf.

"I don't exactly know what Ashley has done but it is serious," said Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who has been critical of the condition of the Stamford Bridge playing surface. "It must be, because he cannot walk."

"The injury is in the knee and we have to wait for a couple of days to find out exactly what it is. I am not sure how he did it but he has a problem with his knee ligaments," Mourinho said.

United improved to 60 points from 25 games. Third-place Liverpool have 49 and Arsenal are fourth with 45.

Geordies jubilant

In other Premier League games, Newcastle beat Aston Villa 3-1. James Milner scored against his former club in the fifth minute and Kieron Dyer added a second two minutes later. Ashley Young, hired from Watford a week ago, replied for Villa in the 25th but Antoine Sibierski scored a third for the Magpies in the final minute for a victory that climbed Glenn Roeder's team three places in the standings.

Next-to-last Charlton held fifth-place Bolton to a 1-1 draw, pulling them level with West Ham in the struggle to avoid relegation.

Henrik Pedersen gave Wanderers a sixth-minute lead but the visitor equalized in the 12th through Talal El Karkouri.

The results leave Watford five points adrift with 15 points. West Ham and Charlton have 20 and are two points behind 17th-place Wigan.

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