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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ton up for Ronaldo

Champions United leapfrogged Arsenal into third place and eradicated memories of last weekend’s defeat by knocking five goals past Stoke at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo book-ended the win with free-kicks right at the start and right at the end of a one-sided contest.

Michael Carrick claimed United’s second just before half-time, Dimitar Berbatov ended the contest four minutes after the break and, with United strolling, youngster Danny Welbeck came off the bench to score a memorable first goal for the club from well outside the box.

Arsenal’s title challenge suffered a hammer blow on Saturday as a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa left them nine points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Arsene Wenger’s side suffered their first two-goal defeat at the Emirates Stadium. An own goal by Gael Clichy and a Gabriel Agbonlahor strike revived Villa’s hopes of Champions League football next season and it could have been worse for the Gunners if Manuel Almunia had not saved Ashley Young’s first-half penalty.

Liverpool’s win came courtesy of headers in either half from Dirk Kuyt and captain Steven Gerrard. Liverpool’s first-half dominance saw Kuyt give his side a 28th-minute lead with a looping header.

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