EPL round-up: Manchester United stay on top
MANCHESTER // Dimitar Berbatov's double allowed Manchester United to strengthen its grip on the Premier League lead with a convincing 2-0 victory on Sunday over a depleted Sunderland.
The Bulgaria striker nodded Wayne Rooney's lofted cross into the net after five minutes and also hit the post during a first-half onslaught.
Berbatov was on target again - slightly fortuitously - when a 57th-minute strike deflected off Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand past goalkeeper Craig Gordon.
Unbeaten in the league all season, United has a two-point lead - and two games in hand - over crosstown rival Manchester City, which won 3-1 at Newcastle.
Arsenal is five points behind United in third having played the same number of matches as the leaders.
WOLVES 1 // WIGAN 2
Wigan climbed out of the relegation zone and left Wolverhampton Wanderers bottom of the Premier League with a 2-1 win at Molineux.
Hugo Rodallega put the visitors ahead in the ninth minute by collecting a cross by Gary Caldwell and swiveling to shoot into the bottom corner.
The Colombia striker then turned provider, threading a ball through for Tom Cleverley to steer a finish past Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey in the 20th.
Wolves went close through Stephen Ward's deflected free kick but Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi was hardly troubled until substitute Steven Fletcher hooked in a consolation with three minutes left.
BOLTON 2 // WEST BROM 0
Goals by Matt Taylor and leading scorer Johan Elmander gave Bolton a 2-0 home win over wasteful West Bromwich Albion.
Taylor exchanged passes with fellow midfielder Lee Chung-yung before sliding home his finish for the opener in the 40th minute.
Bolton weathered a storm before Elmander clinched victory by scoring from a narrow angle in the 86th for the Sweden striker's ninth goal of the season.
West Brom's top scorer, Peter Odemwingie, wasted three great chances - two in the first half and another after the break - while Gonzalo Jara and James Morrison were also denied for the visitors.
Chris Brunt headed against the post to start the second half as the hosts continued to ride their luck.
BLACKBURN 0 // STOKE 2
Robert Huth's header and a late goal from Marc Wilson gave Stoke a 2-0 win at Blackburn to already put pressure on manager Steve Kean.
Kean took over Blackburn on a temporary basis after the popular Sam Allardyce was fired before being told by the owners, Indian poultry company Venky's, that he'll be in charge to the end of the season.
The 43-year-old has plenty of work to do after seeing Blackburn produce virtually nothing in an encounter that featured little entertainment at either side of the field.
Huth's header in the 51st was a rare highlight as he connected with Matthew Etherington's corner shortly after halftime before Wilson converted from 12 yards out in injury time to ensure Stoke moved up to eighth in the Premier League after their third away victory of the season.
Published: December 26, 2010 04:00 AM