In the early kick-off Aston Villa claimed a 2-1 victory over West Ham at Villa Park. The game was a very poor affair up until the 74th minute when Villa took the lead.
Villa winger Charles N’Zogbia was brought down in the penalty area by Hammers midfielder Mark Noble and Belgium international Christian Benteke scored from the resulting spot-kick. Villa’s advantage was doubled on 78 minutes.
N’Zogbia was again involved, the Frenchman curling home a fantastic free-kick. Villa have given away a number of leads this season and nerves started to jangle amongst the home players and fans, even with that two goal lead.
The nerves got even worse in the 87th minute, as midfielder Ashley Westwood headed a Joe Cole cross beyond his own keeper. The visitors pressed for an equaliser, but somehow the home side held on to move out of the relegation zone.
In the other game of the day Manchester United defeated Everton 2-0 at Old Trafford to move 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League. United took just 13 minutes to take the lead, veteran winger Ryan Giggs slotting home from a pass by Robin Van Persie.
That goal means that the Welshman has now scored in 23 consecutive Premier League seasons, a feat never likely to be repeated. Van Persie looked dangerous all game and doubled United’s lead just before the break.
The Dutch striker broke the offside trap, rounded Everton keeper Tim Howard and his goal bound effort came off compatriot Johnny Heitinga before rolling into the back of Howard’s net. Everton never really got going and couldn’t get back into the contest in the second half.
The defeat means the Toffee’s remain in sixth place, six points behind fourth place Tottenham. United’s 20th top flight title now looks increasingly likely.
Have Manchester united now got the Premier League title wrapped up?
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