Tue, Feb 06, 2007 - Page 20 News List

United thrash Spurs 4-0 to maintain a six-point lead

AP , LONDON

Manchester United's Ryan Giggs, right, scores his side's fourth goal despite the defense of Tottenham Hotspur's Anthony Gardner during their Premiership match at White Hart Lane Stadium in London on Sunday.

PHOTO: AFP

Manchester United kept its six-point lead in the English Premier League by beating Tottenham 4-0 on Sunday despite playing the final minutes without goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who broke his nose when he was hit by a knee.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a penalty kick, Nemanja Vidic added a goal with a header, Paul Scholes tapped in from close range and Ryan Giggs beat goalkeeper Paul Robinson one-on-one for United's 20th win of the season.

"It was such a big result for us," Scholes said. "We thought Chelsea would win yesterday so this weekend we had the more difficult game."

The Red Devils ended the game with 10 men and midfielder O'Shea in goal after Van der Sar was hit in the head by Tottenham striker Robbie Keane's knee in the 83rd minute. Van der Sar walked off the field with medical staff holding his broken nose.

United had just made its final substitution with Giggs coming off for O'Shea.

Man United, which hasn't won the title since 2003, leads the league with 63. Two-time defending champion Chelsea is second with 57 points, followed by Liverpool with 50 and Arsenal with 46.

Ronaldo was brought down by Tottenham left back Lee Young-pyo, although TV replays suggested contact was minimal. The Portuguese winger scored his 15th goal of the season from the spot in the 45th.

Ronaldo earlier sent a shot over the bar from after a header from United midfielder Michael Carrick was saved by Robinson.

Dimitar Berbatov had Tottenham's best chance of the first half, but his 33rd-minute shot was tipped around the post by Van der Sar.

Wayne Rooney was shown a yellow card soon after for a tackle on Lee, which rules the England striker out of Manchester United's FA Cup fifth-round game against Reading on Feb. 17.

Rooney was taken off in the 64th minute after he was injured in a challenge.

In the 48th minute, Vidic ran into the box and leapt to head the ball past Robinson on a corner from Carrick, who was playing his first game at Tottenham, his former club.

Six minutes later, Ronaldo crossed the ball into the box and with Robinson beaten, Scholes tipped the ball over the goal line.

Van der Sar palmed over a header from Berbatov, but Giggs then slotted the ball past the oncoming Robinson in the 77th.

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