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Middlesbrough 1-2 Man Utd
Manchester United extended their Premiership lead over Chelsea to six points thanks to a Darren Fletcher header at Middlesbrough.

United took the lead when Louis Saha converted the penalty won by Cristiano Ronaldo, who was fouled by Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer.

The home side hit back after the break when substitute James Morrison's low volley found the bottom left corner.

United clinched the win when Fletcher nodded in Ryan Giggs' left-wing cross.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson:
"I think that our away form has been fantastic.

"That's got to be needed because it's such a tight top of the league with ourselves and Chelsea.

"The lads showed great resolution, even when Middlesbrough equalised we were straight back at them and they wanted to win it. That's important."

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Heinze, Ronaldo (Brown 86), Scholes, Giggs, Fletcher (O'Shea 75), Rooney, Saha.
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Evra, Carrick.

Booked: Scholes, Vidic, Saha.

Goals: Saha 19 pen, Fletcher 68.

PLayer Ratings

6 Van der Sar: Only occasional danger to deal with, but did it solidly.

6 Neville: Sound defending unitl he was done like a kipper by Downing.

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7 Ferdinand: Dealt superbly with the potential danger of Yakubu

7 Vidic: An aerial colossus at the heart of United's defence.  

6 Heinze: Pretty solid, but didn't get over the ball to clear the equaliser.

7 Ronaldo: No need to step back inot old ways as he had the legal breaking of 'boro.

8 Scholes: Passing was long and accurate to continually put Middlesbrough on edge. 

8 Giggs: A constant thorn in 'boro's side

7 Fletcher: Industrious display in the engine room, crowned with a well timed run to score the winner.

8 Rooney: His energy and power consistently had his opponents' nerves ends fraying.

8 Saha: Led the line bravely and strongly and the put the Celtic penalty memory to bed 


5 O'Shea: (Fletcher 75) neat and tody effort.

5 Brown: (Ronlado 87) late extra beef in defence


5.12.06 16:33

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