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United beat Everton to go 12 points clear

Sunday 10 February 2013 19.00 CET
Robin van Persie has scored 19 league goals in his first season at Manchester United

Manchester United FC moved 12 points clear atop the Premier League standings with a routine 2-0 win against Everton FC, after Aston Villa FC eased their relegation fears by edging out West Ham United FC 2-1.

Ryan Giggs kept up his remarkable record of scoring in every Premier League season since its inception in 1992, converting Robin van Persie's cutback 13 minutes in. The Dutch international turned goalscorer on the stroke of half-time, rounding visiting goalkeeper Tim Howard with one foot and slotting in with the other.

United – who let slip a two-goal lead in a costly 4-4 draw in the corresponding fixture last term – were not about to make the same mistake again. Tom Cleverley's venomous volley stung the fingertips of Howard, while Jonny Evans had an effort blocked on the line by Nikica Jelavić. The visitors, meanwhile, had no response, leaving them six points adrift of a UEFA Champions League spot.

In Sunday's early kick-off, Christian Benteke kept his composure from the spot to steer Villa in front with 16 minutes left. A menace throughout, Charles N'Zogbia made it two with a sweetly-struck free-kick, before Ashley Westwood's own goal ensured a nervy conclusion.

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