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Young double secures vital Man United win at Tottenham

updated 5:48 AM EST, Mon March 5, 2012
Manchester United's Ashley is congratulated by goalkeeper David de Gea after his match-winning brace.
Manchester United's Ashley is congratulated by goalkeeper David de Gea after his match-winning brace.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • EPL champions Manchester United win 3-0 at Tottenham Hotspur
  • Two goals from Ashley Young seal valuable three points
  • Newcastle grab late equalizer in north-east derby against Sunderland
  • Fulham beat struggling Sunderland 5-0 at Craven Cottage

(CNN) -- Manchester United moved to within two points of leaders Manchester City at the top of the English Premier League with a 3-1 win at third-placed Tottenham Hotspur Sunday.

A Wayne Rooney goal on the stroke of half time and two second half strikes from England teammate Ashley Young knocked the stuffing out of Harry Redknapp's men.

Substitute Jermain Defoe scored a late consolation for the well-beaten home side, who had started brightly.

Emmanuel Adebayor forced a fine save from David de Gea and had a goal ruled out for handball before Rooney took advantage to head home from Young's corner after slack home defending.

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De Gea made a superb reaction save from a deflected Jake Livermore drive as Tottenham pressed for a deserved equalizer and Adebayor went down in the area, appealing in vain for a penalty.

But United broke upfield and Kyle Walker miscued his clearance from Nani's cross straight to Young, who volleyed in from the angle.

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Almost immediately, Young made it 3-0 as he made space for himself to curl a shot past Brad Friedel. Defoe, left on the bench with Louis Saha preferred, may have made a point to Redknapp with a fine 20-yard strike to cut the deficit but it was academic.

It's an entirely unbelievable result. I would say that's our hardest away game of the season
Alex Ferguson

After a 5-2 defeat to north London rivals Arsenal last Sunday, the early promise of Tottenham's season is eroding, but champions United continue to put pressure on their archrivals at the top of the league.

The pair meet on April 20 in a clash which looks likely to decide the outcome of the title this season.

United manager Alex Ferguson was delighted by his team's display at White Hart Lane.

"A battling performance today tells you that we are up for it," he told Sky Sports.

He added: "It's an entirely unbelievable result. I would say that's our

hardest away game of the season."

Earlier, Newcastle United salvaged a 1-1 draw in an action-packed north east derby against Sunderland.

Shola Ameobi's injury-time equalizer rescued a point for the home side at St James' Park -- his seventh goal against their bitter local rivals.

Nicklas Bendtner's first-half penalty put Sunderland ahead but the visitors had Stephane Sessegnon sent off for elbowing Cheik Tiote with half an hour left.

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet produced a stunning save to keep out Demba Ba's 83rd-minute penalty for Newcastle, who looked to be heading for defeat until Ameobi's late strike.

Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole, who was cautioned after just 40 seconds of the match, was shown a straight red card after the final whistle for dissent.

Fulham increased Wolverhampton Wanderers' problems with a 5-0 beating of the relegation candidates at Craven Cottage.

Russian star Pavel Pogrebnyak, on loan from Stuttgart, grabbed a hat-trick, making it five in three games since his move, while Clint Dempsey scored twice.

U.S. international Dempsey now has 12 for the season with Wolves dropping into the bottom three with the heavy defeat.

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