United, City win in good day for Manchester clubs

Manchester United consolidated its lead in the English Premier League by beating Sunderland 2-0 thanks to two goals by Dimitar Berbatov on Sunday. Carlos Tevez scored twice help Manchester City move into second place with a 3-1 win at Newcastle.

Berbatov headed home a cross by Wayne Rooney in the fifth minute. A shot by the Bulgaria striker deflected in off Anton Ferdinand in the 57th minute, giving him a league-high 13 goals this season.

Unbeaten United stayed two points ahead of crosstown rival City but with two games still in hand.

City overtook Arsenal in the standings behind Gareth Barry's opening goal and two by Tevez. Arsenal plays fourth-place Chelsea on Monday.

United, which has only lost once this season in all competitions, dominated the first half against injury-ravaged Sunderland but had only Berbatov's early strike to show for it.

"We are coming into good form," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "We were solid at the back which is a good sign for us."

City missed the chance to go to the top of the standings at Christmas for the first time in 81 years when it lost 2-1 to Everton on Monday, but it got back on track against Newcastle.

Rafael van der Vaart scored in each half as Tottenham, which played more than an hour with 10 men following the ejection of Jermain Defoe, beat Aston Villa 2-1 to stay in fifth place. Marc Albrighton scored a late consolation goal for struggling Villa. Two Americans — defender Eric Lichaj and goalkeeper Brad Friedel — play for Villa.

Sunderland was overtaken by Bolton, which won 2-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion despite being under pressure much of the game.

Wolverhampton lost 2-1 to Wigan to drop to last place, with West Ham climbing from last on a 3-1 victory at Clint Dempsey's Fulham. Blackburn lost 2-0 at home to Stoke.

Two games — Blackpool-Liverpool and Everton-Birmingham — were postponed because of freezing conditions sweeping Britain.


GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Kenny Miller scored twice for Rangers, which routed Motherwell 4-1 to maintain its two-point lead over rival Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

The Scotland striker reached a league-high 21 goals for the season by scoring Rangers' first and last goals. The other scores were an own-goal by Steven Saunders and an excellent individual effort by Vladimir Weiss.

Celtic needed goals in second-half injury time by South Koreans Cha Du-ri and Ki Sung-yeung for a 2-0 victory over St. Johnstone.