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Relief for Moyes as Man Utd stop the rot

updated 12:32 PM EST, Sun January 12, 2014
Antonio Valencia points to the heavens after scoring Manchester United's opening goal against Swansea City on Saturday.
Antonio Valencia points to the heavens after scoring Manchester United's opening goal against Swansea City on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester United beat Swansea City 2-0 in English Premier League
  • Win ends a run of three successive defeats in all competitions
  • Chelsea move to top of the table after a 2-0 win against Hull City
  • Manchester City play Newcastle on Sunday: Arsenal travel to Villa on Monday

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(CNN) -- Manchester United ended a run of three consecutive defeats with a 2-0 win against Swansea City in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Second-half goals from Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck eased the pressure on David Moyes following a league defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on New Year's Day and losses to Swansea and Sunderland in England's two domestic cup competitions.

A goalless first half ended with the visitors in the ascendency having dominated possession while United, barring a shot from Welbeck which went close, failed to threaten Swansea's goal.

United, who were again without their two star strikers, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, looked like they could slip to a fourth consecutive defeat for the first time since 1961.

But the game turned in the home side's favor 90 seconds after the break when Valencia swept home from close range after goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel had parried Shinji Kagawa's header into the path of the Ecuador international.

United doubled their lead 12 minutes later as Welbeck neatly deflected Patrice Evra's shot past a helpless Tremmel.

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The England international's sixth goal in as many games settled home nerves and in the end the winning margin could have been greater especially if Kagawa and Chris Smalling hadn't squandered good chances.

"We started the game well but we didn't do enough in the first half to get goals," Moyes told Sky Sports after the match.

"We limited them to very few opportunities today. I can't hardly remember any at all and in the end we got the result we deserved," Moyes added.

"We are hoping to give the supporters some more goals here, not just the two, but maybe we'll keep those for later on in the season."

The win keeps United in seventh with 37 points, two points behind Liverpool who travel to Stoke City on Sunday and nine points behind of current leaders Chelsea who assumed top spot after beating Hull City 2-0 at the KC Stadium.

Eden Hazard put the visitors ahead in the 56th minute firing low into the bottom right corner before Fernando Torres sealed victory three minutes from the end with a goal on his 200th Premier League appearance.

Jose Mourinho's side now have 46 points, one more than Arsenal who take on Aston Villa on Monday and two more than Manchester City who travel to Newcastle on Sunday.

London rivals Tottenham Hotspur continued their resurgence under new coach Tim Sherwood with a comfortable 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Second-half goals from Christian Eriksen and Jermain Defoe means Spurs have now won four out of five league games since Andre Villas Boas' dismissal last month.

The result lifts Sherwood's team to fifth with 40 points while Palace are now bottom on goal difference following Sunderland 4-1 win against Craven Cottage.

Everton are one point ahead and one place above the North Londoners after also securing a 2-0 win against Norwich City at Goodison Park.

Southampton, meanwhile, notched up only their second win in 10 games with a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's.

Adam Lallana's 66th-minute goal means Southampton have 30 points and stay in ninth while West Brom, whose new boss Pepe Mel watched on from the stands, remain in 14th with 21 points.

After conceding 11 goals in their last two cup matches West Ham United recorded a vital league win against Cardiff City.

Two drubbings -- 5-0 against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup and 6-0 to Manchester City in the English League Cup -- had put manager Sam Allardyce's future at the club in doubt, but the 2-0 win against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side relieves the pressure for now and sees the Hammers move up to 17th while Cardiff slip to 18th.

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