Manchester United, Chelsea win at Premier League
Updated: 2005-12-27 09:25
MANCHESTER, England (AFP) - Manchester United, with first-half goals from the
revitalized Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand, maintained their challenge to
Premiership leaders Chelsea with a comfortable 3-0 victory over West Bromwich
Albion at Old Trafford.
But former United favourite Bryan Robson, the Albion manager, could count
himself unfortunate that a sickening head injury to defender Paul Robinson just
after the half-hour mark unsettled his team which, until that point, had managed
to keep the home team at bay.
Robinson had performed an heroic man-marking job on England international
Wayne Rooney for the opening 34 minutes of the contest, but within a minute of
his departure United were in front as Scholes, goalless until the start of this
month, hit his third of the season.
Deep into first half injury-time, Ferdinand, who scored his first United goal
in the recent league victory over Wigan, headed his second goal in three games
and the contest was effectively over.
With the second-half a steady procession towards the Albion goal, the only
issue surrounded how many more the home side would score with the answer,
perhaps surprisingly, being one.
Ruud van Nistelrooy completed a routine afternoon at the office for his side
when he headed in his 16th goal of the season just after the hour.
Thankfully, Robinson had suffered nothing worse than a bad concussion in a
collision with team mate Thomas Gaardsoe but his injury led to an anxious five
minute delay in which he lay motionless in his team's penalty area before
eventually being stretchered off the field.
His absence clearly unsettled the visitors who had coped well with everything
United had thrown at them up until that point.
After four minutes, Scholes had headed Gary Neville's cross over the bar from
six yards and, later, Ji-sung Park's low shot flew a foot wide of the right-hand
post without the Reds really threatening keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.