Manchester United's Danny Welbeck (L) celebrates after scoring against Aston Villa during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium in England. AP Photo/Jon Super
Manchester United moved a step closer to retaining the Premier League title with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday to move five points clear at the top.
The three points did not arrive without controversy, however, as Ashley Young's theatrical tumble in the penalty area under minimal contact allowed Wayne Rooney to settle the hosts' nerves with a seventh-minute spot kick.
Villa, who are still in danger of relegation, offered little and United stretched their lead just before halftime through Danny Welbeck's close-range finish.
Rooney scored again with a deflected effort after 73 minutes and Nani added the fourth in stoppage time.
United moved to 82 points with four games left. Resurgent Manchester City, who thrashed Norwich City 6-1 away on Saturday, are on 77.
The top two face off at The Etihad Stadium on April 30.