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Soccer: Hotspur Routed by Man United 4-0
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Manchester United thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on Sunday to restore their six-point lead at the top of the Premiership.

Spurs had matched the visitors until Cristiano Ronaldo put United ahead from the spot after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Steed Malbranque.

United took control after the break with Nemanja Vidic heading home Michael Carrick's corner and Ronaldo setting up Paul Scholesto score from close range.

Ryan Giggs ran clear late on to slot home a fourth and complete the rout.

The only hiccup for United was when Edwin van der Sar broke his nose before the end - with John O'Shea putting on the goalkeeper's jersey to repel Tottenham in the closing minutes.

To be on the end on such a battering was slightly harsh on Spurs - who gave the leaders a real run for their money in the first half - but in the end they simply had no answer to Ronaldo.

Martin Jol's side had begun like they were anxious to make up for the disappointment of their Carling Cup exit at the hands of neighbors Arsenal in midweek.

United were given no time or space on the ball and their frustration was evident in some wild challenges.

Things did not improve for the visitors when Ronaldo blazed over from close range before they had a penalty claim turned down by referee Mark Clattenburg after Anthony Gardner had tangled with Henrik Larsson.

But the game was to turn on another Clattenburg decision before half-time when Ronaldo burst into the box and was apparently tripped by Malbranque.

TV replays were inconclusive on whether contact was made but all that mattered was that Clattenburg pointed at the spot – and the Portuguese winger picked himself up to fire United ahead. If United were slightly fortunate to be ahead at the break,they did not waste time in wrapping up their victory after the interval.

Robinson had already saved well from Vidic and Carrick but he was helpless as Vidic rose at the near post to thunder home a powerful header from Carrick's corner.

Minutes later it was 3-0 as Ronaldo waltzed past Young-Pyo Leeand crossed for Scholes to slide the ball over the line.

There was still time for Dimitar Berbatov to force two good saves from Van der Sar - but by now Tottenham were only looking for a consolation.

Instead their misery was compounded when substitute Louis Sahaset Giggs free and he confidently slotted past Robinson to wrap up a convincing victory.

(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2007)

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