MAN UNITED RESTORE FIVE-POINT LEAD
Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday to restore their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Nearest rivals Manchester City had cut the gap to just two points by crushing Norwich 6-1 on Saturday but United responded in style with an emphatic triumph of their own.
Ashley Young earned United a sixth-minute penalty against his former club but the theatrical dive under minimal contact from Ciaran Clark earned widespread criticism.
Rooney snaffled the opportunity, then added another in the second half, with Danny Welbeck and Nani also finding the net in a one-sided game.
Villa remain in trouble, six points clear of third-bottom Bolton, who have a game in hand and must also visit Villa Park.
After the game Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Young went looking for the penalty which gave his side the opening goal - but believes a spot-kick was the correct decision.
"I think he played for the penalty," Ferguson told Sky Sports 1. "If a player decides to put his foot in and he's definitely taken him down then he's fallen in to that.
"I think it was a dramatic fall (by Young) and maybe he overdid the fall but it was a penalty and there's no doubt about that.
"I don't think they can have any complaint as he has taken him.
"Good defending has always been good defending - if they read the game and keep their feet in they should really cope with that."
Despite moving further ahead of Man City, Ferguson denied his side are now favourites for the league title.
Ferguson said: "There could be twists and turns yet but the name of the game is to enjoy ourselves and play with expression like we did today.
"You can never be too confident. The name is the game is to not drop too many points.
"It was a good result for us. In the first half we played some good stuff and the third goal killed the game and we were able to see it out."
United defender Rio Ferdinand dismissed last Wednesday's loss against Wigan as a "blip" and said no-one at the club is taking their foot off the gas despite re-opening the gap at the top.
He said: "Fair dues to Wigan, they played well and we didn't. Today we had to put on a good performance. The onus was on us to do that at home and we did that.
"We put pressure on ourselves to win games. The pressure is on ourselves from within from the fans and boss and other results don't come into it."
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