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United fights back to beat Everton and extend lead to five points

United fights back to beat Everton and extend lead to five points

Manchester United moved five points clear in the Premier League title race by scoring four straight goals to beat Everton 4-2 on Saturday as Chelsea drew 2-2 with Bolton.
Wayne Rooney put United ahead in the 79th minute when he latched on to a cross from John O'Shea, beat Tony Hibbert and side-footed past Everton goalkeeper Iain Turner.
Everton had lead 2-0, but a goal by O'Shea and an own-goal by former United defender Phil Neville had drawn the Red Devils level at Goodison Park. United reserve Chris Eagles then scored a late goal.
"I do think the marvelous attitude of our players and the spirit in the camp is going to help us," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "With Chelsea drawing today it's obviously back with us _ a five-point lead and a superior goal difference gives us a marvelous chance with three games left."
United has 85 points, followed by Chelsea with 80. The two teams play each other on May 9.
"We have no time to be sad," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. "But it is almost lost, almost
"It is not over because mathematically there is a chance and when the chance is there, we have to believe and chase the opportunity you have."
Also Saturday, it was: Blackburn 4, Charlton 1; Aston Villa 2, Manchester City 0; Tottenham 3, Middlesbrough 2; Portsmouth 2, Liverpool 1; Sheffield United 1, Watford 0 and West Ham 3, Wigan 0.
Ferguson had left Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench ahead of the second leg of the Champions League semifinals at AC Milan on Wednesday _ and he may have been regretting it after just 12 minutes.
Everton defender Alan Stubbs struck a free kick which was deflected into the goal by United midfielder Michael Carrick.
Manuel Fernandes extended Everton's lead in the 50th after holding off Wes Brown on the edge of the area to shoot powerfully into the top corner.
O'Shea scored from close range in the 61st after Turner dropped Ryan Giggs' corner, and the goalkeeper was also partially at fault for United's 68th-minute equalizer.
Turner's feet could only block a header from Ronaldo, and Neville, who spent 11 years with United, steered the ball into the back of the net.
Rooney, who started his career at Everton, put United ahead 11 minutes later, and he then passed to Eagles as he curled the ball past Turner inside the far in injury time.
At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho put Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Didier Drogba on the bench with Tuesday's Champions League return leg at Liverpool in mind.
The Blues fell behind in the 19th minute when Lubomir Michalik scored after Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou had failed to clear the ball from Andranik Teymourian's free kick.
Three minutes later, Kalou scored with a glancing header past Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen on a cross from Wayne Bridge.
In the 34th, Jaaskelainen deflected the ball over the line after Kalou had headed the ball against the crossbar from a corner.
Lampard was brought on in the 29th to replace defender Ricardo Carvalho, who injured his knee and was later ruled out of Tuesday's match at Anfield to join the injured Michael Ballack on the sidelines.
But Bolton struck back in the 54th. With Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech stranded, Kevin Davies nodded home when a free kick from Tal was floated into the box.
At the bottom of the table, West Ham thrashed Wigan 3-0 to climb to No. 18 with 35 points, one place behind Wigan out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Luis Boa Morte, Yossi Benayoun and substitute Marlon Harewood scored for West Ham.
Charlton lost 4-1 at Blackburn to drop to No. 19 with 33 points.
For Blackburn, Jason Roberts scored twice and Matt Derbyshire once to add to an own-goal by Hermann Hreidarsson, while Darren Bent scored for Charlton.
Sheffield United won 1-0 over last-place Watford _ after an own-goal by Chris Powell _ to move to 38 points, three above the drop zone.
First-half goals from Benjamin Mwaruwari and Niko Kranjcar lifted Portsmouth into seventh place and a UEFA Cup spot with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool.
Robbie Keane scored two goals and Dimitar Berbatov one to lead Tottenham to a 3-2 win at Middlesbrough, which had goals from Mark Viduka and Emanuel Pogatetz.
Manchester City had a league record seventh consecutive home shutout when John Carew and Shaun Maloney scored for Aston Villa in a 2-0 win.
On Sunday, it's Arsenal vs. Fulham and on Monday, it's Reading vs. Newcastle.


Updated : 2020-12-05 20:31 GMT+08:00