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Ronaldo double lifts United into second

Ronaldo proved too good for Fulham, who saw their woeful Premiership away record stretch to 24 games without victory as Sir Alex Ferguson's team cruised to the win.

sports Updated: Dec 04, 2007 17:35 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo made up for missing out on the European Footballer of the Year award by scoring both goals as Manchester United moved to within three points of leaders Arsenal with a 2-0 win against Fulham at Old Trafford on Monday.

Ronaldo, who was overlooked in favour of AC Milan's Brazilian forward Kaka for the Ballon d'Or award that was announced on Sunday, proved too good for Fulham, who saw their woeful Premiership away record stretch to 24 games without victory as Sir Alex Ferguson's team cruised to the win.

United had allowed themselves to fall off the Premiership pace by losing 1-0 at Bolton in their last league outing and nothing but three points against Fulham would do for the champions with Arsenal stretching their lead to six points with a weekend victory at Aston Villa.

Manager Ferguson had made the point in his match programme notes that further slip-ups would not be tolerated and the message appeared to have hit home loud and clear as United tore at Fulham inside the opening ten minutes.

Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez should have hit a hat-trick during that period as three golden chances fell into his path, but the former West Ham forward failed to take any of them.

Tevez first let Fulham off the hook when he headed Anderson's cross wide from three yards after beating the offside trap to take his chance at the far post.

Moments later, he was then denied by a brilliant save from goalkeeper Antti Niemi, who dived low to block Tevez's snapshot from 12 yards.

His luck clearly wasn't in and Tevez had another near miss on eight minutes when his right foot strike from the edge of the penalty area was deflected over the crossbar by Fulham captain Aaron Hughes.