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Classy Man Utd thump Aston Villa

Manchester United kept their title hopes within touching distance today as they swept aside Aston Villa 4-0 at Old Trafford. Goals from Wayne Rooney (2), Danny Welbeck and Nani ensured United remain 5 points ahead of Man City at the top of the Premier League.

The game started at a frenetic pace, as Andreas Weimann went very close in just the first minute, as he found room down the left hand side, but David De Gea grasped the ball well.

Ashley Young then won a penalty for United, as he worked his way into the Villa box and fell over Ciaran Clark's leg. Mark Halsey immediately offered a penalty, and up stepped United forward Wayne Rooney to put the hosts 1-0 up.

Villa could not find much to work their way back into the game, and on 27 minutes Rafael found some space down the right to work the ball across for Rooney, who drove the ball at Shay Given, who had to be at his best to divert the ball away from the goal.

On 35 minutes Shay Given created a contender for save of the season, making a quick fire stop from Danny Welbeck. Antonio Valencia found space down the right hand side and crossed for England forward Welbeck, who quickly pounced. Irish international keeper Given tipped the ball over the bar to keep the score at 1-0.

Just before the half time whistle would blow, Welbeck would finally get his just desserts as he throttled home a first time cross from a Patrice Evra cross.

The second half would not offer much in the way of attacking impetus from Aston Villa, despite Alex McLeish's best efforts to mix up precedings, when taking off defensive player Ciaran Clark for Emile Heskey.

In the 73rd minute, Antonio Valencia and Wayne Rooney would link up well to wrap up the game with the third for United. Rooney's shot would take a deflection off of James Collins, to ensure all 3 points would go to United.

Three minutes into a scheduled four of injury time, impact substitute Nani would get United's fourth to leave Sir Alex Ferguson smiling as United remain five points clear of city rivals Man City at the top of the table.