Welsh duo on target as United widen gap at the top
MANCHESTER United strengthened their grip on the English Premier League race yesterday when they won 3-2 at Sheffield Wednesday while none of their nearest challengers managed a victory.
United won with two goals from Mark Hughes and one from his Welsh international teammate Ryan Giggs to go five points clear of second-placed Arsenal, who were held 0-0 at Anfield by Liverpool, who have now gone 500 minutes without a goal.
Aston Villa, who began the day third, crashed 2-0 at home to Newcastle, who clocked up their first away win of the season with goals from Malcolm Allen with a penalty and Andy Cole, his 11th in 11 games.
Wimbledon, who started the day in fourth place, crashed 4-0 at Leeds, who climbed from fifth to third.
Bottom-placed Swindon are still looking for their first win after losing 3-1 at home to Blackburn, for whom Alan Shearer scored twice.
The 23-year-old England striker was starting his first match this season after five games as substitute.
Blackburn's win was soured when Paul Warhurst was carried off with a suspected broken leg.
Hughes was the architect of United's win over Wednesday, scoring twice and also creating Giggs' goal.
Chris Bart-Williams had put the home side in front in the 47th minute to the delight of a 34,548 all-ticket sell-out crowd, but Hughes levelled just three minutes later.
United went ahead in the 66th minute after Eric Cantona attacked Wednesday down their right flank before slipping the the ball to Hughes just inside the area. The Welshman controlled with his first touch and then despatched the ball with his second for his fifth goal of the season.
Five minutes later Hughes put Giggs in the clear, allowing the exciting teenager to finish off the move nonchalantly. Mark Bright pulled one back for Wednesday.
Liverpool and Arsenal produced a goalless draw at Anfield in a match Liverpool should have won.
Teenage striker Robbie Fowler had a hat-trick of chances but the 18-year-old England youth star, making his home league debut, wasted all of them.
Arsenal did not have a shot on target until the 70th minute when Paul Merson fired tamely at Bruce Grobbelaar.