Title race all but wrapped up as Man Utd go 12 points clear

Man Utd celebrate as Giggs scores against Everton

Manchester United took a huge step towards landing their twentieth league title following their routine 2-0 win over Everton.

Ryan Giggs broke the deadlock to continue his record of scoring in every Premier League season before Robin Van Persie killed off the game on the stroke of half-time. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men now find themselves 12 points clear at the top of the table, the perfect preparation for this Wednesday’s clash against European giants Real Madrid.

Champions Manchester City have it all to do if they are to retain their title, after an embarrassing 3-1 defeat against Southampton at St. Mary’s. Jason Puncheon gave the Saints a sixth minute lead, before a Joe Hart howler handed the home side a second after Steven Davis tapped home.

Edin Dzeko scored before half-time to give City hope, but a dreadful Gareth Barry own-goal handed Mauricio Pochettino his first win since replacing Nigel Adkins.

Chelsea consolidated their place in third after they thrashed Wigan Athletic 4-1 at Stamford Bridge. Ramires and Frank Lampard gave the Blues a two goal lead, before Shaun Maloney replied for the Latics.

After missing the past three games due to allegedly kicking a ball boy, Eden Hazard made a scoring return to the side, while Marko Marin added a fourth late on.

Tottenham Hotspur claimed all three points against an on-form Newcastle United, in a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane. The Champions League hopefuls opened the scoring thanks to Gareth Bale’s twenty five yard free kick, before Yoan Gouffran equalised for the Magpies. However, Spurs would not be denied as Bale scored his second attempt, after a fine solo run in the closing stages.

Arsenal kept up the pace on their Champions League rivals with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Sunderland at The Stadium of Light. Santi Cazorla gave the Gunners the lead after his arrowed effort beat Simon Mignolet in goal.

Jack Wilshere was forced off with an injury before Arsène Wenger’s side held on for more than a half an hour with 10 men, after Carl Jenkinson was shown a red card.

Swansea moved up to seventh in the table after their 4-1 drubbing of Queens Park Rangers at the Liberty Stadium. Michu got the Swans off to a flying start before Angel Rangel doubled the home side’s lead. Bobby Zamora scored early in the second half to give Harry Redknapp’s side hope, but further goals through Pablo Hernandez and Michu sealed the three points for the Capital One Cup finalists.

Stoke City recorded their first win in seven league games after beating relegation candidates Reading 2-1 at the Brittania Stadium. Robert Huth headed the Potters in front with a little over twenty minutes left, while Cameron Jerome added a second.

Adrian Mariappa looked to revive recent dramatic comebacks, but it was too little too late for Brian McDermott’s side.

Aston Villa moved out of the relegation zone with their first win since December after beating West Ham 2-1 at Villa Park. Christian Benteke coolly slotted home his penalty with a little over ten minutes left before a Charles N’Zogbia free kick gave the home side some breathing space.

However, Villa were made to sweat when Ashley Westwood headed into his own net, but they managed to hold out.

Norwich City and Fulham gained a point each after their dull 0-0 draw at Carrow Road. With neither team in danger of relegation or challenging for a place in Europe, both managers who worked together at Tottenham will have been happy to share the spoils.

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