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Man United routs Fulham 5-0 in Premier League

Updated: December 21, 2011, 18:11


Manchester United's Ryan Giggs, fifth left, celebrates his goal with teammates, from left, Patrice Evra, Wayne Rooney, and Nani as Fulham's Danny Murphy, sixth left, watches, during the English Premier League soccer match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage stadium in London, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON(AP) Manchester United earned its biggest win in three months on Wednesday, routing Fulham 5-0 to keep the heat on leader Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Dimitar Berbatov rounded off the victory with an audacious backheel in stoppage time after goals from Danny Welbeck, Nani, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.

But the victory came at a cost, with defender Phil Jones forced off injured in the 20th minute after being caught by Clint Dempsey's arm while dueling for the ball.

And his replacement, Ashley Young, came off injured at the start of the second half with an unspecified injury that manager Alex Ferguson will rule him out for two to three weeks.

United, though, is only two points behind neighbor City, which beat Stoke 3-0 at Eastlands.

Having failed to win on their past three visits to Craven Cottage, the Red Devils never looked in danger of extending that run on Wednesday.

Danny Welbeck capitalized on lax defending to break the deadlock within five minutes and the visitors extended their advantage when Nani nodded home a cross from Ryan Giggs.

The 38-year-old midfielder's performance in the capital belied his years and he extended his streak of having scored in all 20 Premier League seasons when he saw a drive deflect off Philippe Senderos and loop in two minutes before the break.

The home side were booed off the pitch at halftime, but looked resurgent after the restart.

Still, Antonio Valencia shot at David Stockdale as United pressed for a fourth goal, before Chris Smalling blocked former teammate Dempsey's goalbound effort at the other end.

Play swung from one end to another as the match entered the final 20 minutes, before Rooney capped a fine performance with a superb 30-yard (meter) effort two minutes from time.

Substitute Berbatov finished the rout with a nonchalant backheel from Valencia's cross in the 90th minute.

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