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Man United thrash Wolves to go four points clear

updated 3:23 PM EDT, Sun March 18, 2012
Javier Hernandez celebrates his first goal in Manchester United's 5-0 romp at Wolves.
Javier Hernandez celebrates his first goal in Manchester United's 5-0 romp at Wolves.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester United move four points clear of Manchester City in Premier League
  • Javier Hernandez scores twice for United in a 5-0 thrashing of bottom club Wolves
  • Wigan off the bottom of the Premier League after a 1-1 home draw with West Bromwich
  • Liverpool and Chelsea both through to the FA Cup semifinals after hoem wins on Sunday

(CNN) -- Premier League champions Manchester United have moved four points clear of rivals Manchester City at the top of the table after winning 5-0 at bottom club Wolverhampton on Sunday.

Javier Hernandez scored twice in the second half, with Jonny Evans, Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck also on target, as United recovered from their midweek Europa League exit to make it eight wins and a draw from their last nine league matches.

Northern Ireland defender Evans set the ball rolling with his first ever United goal after 21 minutes.

And the home side were dealt a further blow six minutes from half-time when defender Ronald Zubar was shown a second yellow card for a sliding challenge on United captain Patrice Evra.

From then on, United were in total control, Valencia breaking clear to rifle home a second before the same player set up Welbeck for a third on the stroke of half-time.

A close-range Hernandez header made it 4-0 in the 56th minute and the Mexican striker added his second and United's fifth when converting Valencia's cross at the far post.

Stadium hushed as medics worked

The heavy defeat means Wolverhampton's inferior goal difference has now sent them to the bottom of the table, although they remain level on 22 points with fellow-strugglers Wigan and QPR.

Wigan entered the weekend a point behind the other two, but picked up a valuable 1-1 home draw with West Bromwich in one of only two league matches on Saturday.

James McArthur had put Wigan ahead from close range nine minutes after the break, but the visitors leveled nine minutes later when former Wigan midfielder Paul Scharner headed home a Chris Brunt corner.

Saturday's other league match saw Swansea continue their remarkable first season in the Premier League with a superb 3-0 victory at Fulham.

A double from Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson helped the Welsh side move up to eighth position and within sight of a potential Europa League place.

However, Swansea remain eight points behind sixth-placed Newcastle, who remain favorites for the Europa League spot after an 11th-minute strike from Papiss Cisse gave them a 1-0 home win over Norwich on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in the FA Cup, Chelsea and Liverpool are both through to the semifinals after home wins on Sunday.

A second-half Stewart Downing goal gave Liverpool a 2-1 home win over last year's finalists Stoke, for whom former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch had headed in an equalizer from a corner.

Liverpool could now face Merseyside rivals Everton in the Wembley semi-finals, although the latter will have to get past Sunderland in a replay after their quarterfinal ended 1-1 at Goodison Park.

And Chelsea will face either Tottenham or Bolton in the other semifinal after striker Fernando Torres ended a goal drought that had lasted a remarkable 24 games, with a double in the 5-2 home win over Championship side Leicester.

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