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United wins derby to go 3 clear

MANCHESTER United striker Carlos Tevez scored a stunning goal yesterday in a 2-0 victory over Manchester City to show the English Premier League leader what it is likely to miss next season.

The Argentine played the entire derby after being critical of the club over the lack of a permanent contract with his two-year loan deal expiring at the end of the season.

After Tevez scored following Cristiano Ronaldo's free-kick goal right on halftime, he raced over to United manager Alex Ferguson, cupping his ears as fans chanted his name.

Tevez, who was quoted in yesterday's newspapers as saying he wants to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, was in superb form, curling another shot against the woodwork as United dominated the derby.

The Red Devils are now four points away from winning a third straight league title and a record-equalling 18th. They now lead Liverpool by three points. United is on 83 points and has three games left to play to Liverpool's two, starting on Wednesday at Wigan Athletic. Liverpool had gone top on Saturday on goal difference after a 3-0 win at West Ham United.

Steven Gerrard scored twice at Upton Park to keep the pressure on United in the title race.

Third-placed Chelsea was at fourth-placed Arsenal later yesterday.

But much of the focus on Saturday centered on the bottom of the table, and West Bromwich Albion, which pulled off a famous escape from relegation in 2005, could be on its way to surviving in the Premier League again after beating Wigan Athletic 3-1 at The Hawthorns.

Marc-Antoine Fortune scored twice as West Brom won for the second time in three matches to keep alive its hopes of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship (second division).

West Brom stayed bottom but moved on to 31 points, the same as Newcastle United and Middlesbrough who meet today.

Hull City suffered a fifth straight loss, going down 1-2 to Stoke City, which is safe. Hull has 34 points, two behind Sunderland which is also deep in trouble on 36 points after drawing 0-0 at Bolton Wanderers.

Blackburn Rovers look secure on 40 points after their 2-0 win over Portsmouth, which is not yet safe on 38 points.

Fulham beat Aston Villa 3-1 to move up to seventh, while FA Cup finalist Everton drew 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur.


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