- Chelsea FC - England - football - Manchester United
Manchester United took a huge step towards retaining their Premier League title when they beat West Ham United 4-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday after playing more than half the match with 10 men.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice while Carlos Tevez and Michael Carrick both scored against their old club as United moved on to 84 points with one match to play. If they win that game, at Wigan Athletic next Sunday, they will be champions of England for the 17th time.
Chelsea, who are at Newcastle United on Monday, have 81 points, but a vastly inferior goal difference to United.
United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports News afterwards: "I'm very pleased because there was a bit of tiredness in the second half. The plan in the second half was to kill the game off and get the fourth goal and we did that. It's been a great day for us, we have a big chance (of the title)."
If Chelsea lose on Monday, the title will be United's unless they lose at Wigan and Chelsea beat Bolton Wanderers with a winning margin well into double figures in their final league matches next week.
Ronaldo, named England's Footballer of the Year for the second successive season on Friday, gave United a third minute lead and added another when he turned the ball in off his thigh after 24 minutes to take his season's tally in all competitions to 40 goals. Former West Ham striker Carlos Tevez made it 3-0 with a stunning 30-yard shot two minutes later before Dean Ashton replied with an overhead bicycle kick two minutes after that.
United were reduced to 10 men when Nani was dismissed eight minutes before halftime for a headbutt on Lucas Neill.
Carrick put the game beyond West Ham with a well-struck shot that took a deflection off Neill after 59 minutes.