Hernandez keeps United on top of EPL

by AFP on Apr 24, 2011

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Manchester United remain six points clear at the top of the Premier League as Javier Hernandez's late goal clinched a 1-0 win over Everton, while Fernando Torres finally broke his Chelsea duck in a 3-0 victory against West Ham on Saturday.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side found it tough to break down a resolute Everton defence and looked in danger of dropping two points at Old Trafford, but Mexican striker Hernandez ended the stalemate with a close-range header seven minutes from full-time.

Second-placed Chelsea responded in the day's late match but, with just four games to play, Ferguson is confident his side can end the title race by beating Arsenal, who travel to Bolton on Sunday, and Chelsea in their next two matches.

"The thing that puzzles me is people keep saying Arsenal and Chelsea have got to play us still, like we're going to lose to them...why shouldn't we win those games?" he said.

"There are only four games left and the way the players are going about their business gives them an outstanding chance of success."

Everton felt aggrieved that referee Peter Walton didn't give a penalty early in the second half when Rio Ferdinand tugged back Victor Anichebe.

But United finally made the breakthrough in the 83rd minute when Antonio Valencia's cross to the far post was headed in by Hernandez from virtually on the goal-line.

At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea secured their seventh win in eight league matches to stay in touch with United and leave West Ham bottom of the table.

Former West Ham midfielder Lampard put Carlo Ancelotti's side ahead in the 44th minute when he lashed in Ashley Cole's cross.

Torres came off the bench to score impressively in the 84th minute - his first goal in 13 matches since his British record STG50 million from Liverpool - while Florent Malouda netted in stoppage time.

Tottenham wasted a chance to leapfrog fourth-placed Manchester City as West Bromwich Albion secured a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane.

Albion took the lead in the fifth minute through Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie.

Roman Pavlyuchenko equalised in the 27th minute and Jermain Defoe hit his 100th Premier League goal in the 66th minute to put Spurs ahead.

But Simon Cox equalised for Albion in the 81st minute and Spurs are now one point behind City, who travel to Blackburn on Monday.

Liverpool's resurgence under Kenny Dalglish continued as Maxi Rodriguez's hat-trick inspired a 5-0 win against Birmingham at Anfield.

Blackpool climbed out of the bottom three with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle at Bloomfield Road.

While Sunderland eased their relegation fears with a 4-2 victory over Wigan at the Stadium of Light.

Second bottom Wolves' hopes of avoiding relegation were dented as Fulham drew 1-1 at Molineux.

Aston Villa couldn't give ill boss Gerard Houllier, who has been hospitalised with chest pains, a much-needed tonic as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Stoke.