Man. United stride to lead after win over Sunderland

08:28, December 28, 2010      

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Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov (L) celebrates his goal against Sunderland during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, December 26, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Manchester United kept their leading position in the Premier League after taking a 2-0 victory over Sunderland on Sunday thanks to Dimitar Berbatov's two goals.

At the Old Trafford, the Bulgarian striker put the home side ahead by heading home Wayne Rooney's cross after five minutes before adding a second with a deflected shot in the 57th minute.

Sunderland, struggling without seven first-team regulars, couldn't make any threat in front of a confident Man. United lineup. With 12 minutes remaining, the visitors finally managed to get a shot on target, but the United keeper Edwin van der Sar comfortably saved Boudewijn Zenden's shot.

United kept to lead the standings with 37 points, while Manchester City trailed two points behind with two more matches played.

City scored twice in the opening five minutes by winning over Newcastle 3-1. Their Argentina striker Carlos Tevez scored twice while Andy Carroll chased one back for the hosts.

Besides, a ten-men Tottenham managed to grab three points from Villa Park by beating Aston Villa 2-1.

Spurs were inspired with midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart back from injury and the Dutch international gave them the lead after 23 minutes with a low shot.

But four minutes later, striker Jermain Defoe was shown a red card after he caught Villa defender James Collins with his elbow as they challenged for a high ball.

Spurs were unaffected by their numerical disadvantage and Van der Vaart scored again in the 67th minute before being replaced by Peter Crouch.

Marc Albrighton pulled one back in the closing stages but the late goal couldn't save them from a loss.

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