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United thrash Derby, trail Arsenal by 1 point

Carlos Tevez strikes twice to fire Manchester United one point behind Arsenal in the British Premier League on Saturday.

sports Updated: Dec 09, 2007 11:06 IST

Carlos Tevez scored twice to help Manchester United move within one point of Premier League leader Arsenal with a 4-1 win over Derby.

Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo also scored for the Red Devils, who moved to 36 points. Arsenal, which has 37, plays Middlesbrough today.

Chelsea also kept pace with a 2-0 win over Sunderland, giving it 34 points for third. But Liverpool fell 3-1 at Reading for its first league defeat this season.

Also yesterday, Aiyegbeni Yakubu scored a hat-trick in Everton's 3-0 win over Fulham; Sulley Muntari scored twice for Portsmouth in a 3-1 win over Aston Villa, and Newcastle scored an injury-time winner to beat Birmingham 2-1.

At Old Trafford, Giggs put United ahead in the 40th minute, scoring from a rebound after Ronaldo's initial shot had been blocked by Derby goalkeeper Stephen Bywater. It was Giggs' 100th league goal, and he's the 11th United player to reach the landmark. Giggs, 34, has been at United for 17 years.

"Maybe no one knew but I certainly did," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "It is a fantastic achievement, absolutely marvelous. Not many players have scored 100 league goals but the service Ryan has given us, quite apart from the goals, is outstanding."

Tevez made it 2-0 in the 45th when he tapped in a free kick from Ronaldo and added his second in the 60th after taking a cross from Wes Brown.

Tevez asked Ronaldo if he could take a 90th-minute penalty to complete a hat trick, but was turned down.

"Cristiano is our regular penalty-taker so I can understand why he wanted to take it but it would have been great for Carlos if he had scored a hat-trick," Ferguson said.

Derby pulled one back in the 76th, with Steve Howard scoring the first away goal for the Rams this season.

Chelsea was without striker Didier Drogba, who underwent a knee operation before the game. That gave Andriy Shevchenko the start, and he seized the chance by scoring on header in the 23rd.

Frank Lampard doubled the lead with a penalty kick in the 75th, after Danny Higginbotham fouled Alex in the area while Lampard was taking a free kick.

Sunderland had midfielder Liam Miller sent off in the 88th minute after he pushed Chelsea striker Claudio Pizzaro.

"We played very good football today," Chelsea manager Avram Grant said. "We moved the ball very well. It was patient play from us because it was not easy to play against Sunderland. They defended with a lot of players."

Reading went ahead through a spot kick from Stephen Hunt in the 17th after Jamie Carragher brought down Brynjar Gunnarsson in the corner of the penalty area.

Steven Gerrard leveled in the 28th, but Kevin Doyle put Reading ahead in the 60th by heading in Nicky Shorey's free kick. Doyle and Bobby Convey combined to set up James Harper for Reading's third in the 67th.

"It was a strange game," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said.

"We had a few chances but did not take them. After some decisions which we didn't get, we couldn't change the result."

Portsmouth got its first win at Villa Park in 37 years, and its sixth successive away victory in the league.

Muntari scored his first goal in the 40th minute with a powerful 25-meter (yard) shot into the top corner of the net. His second came on a counterattack in the 61st.

A goal kick from Scott Carson was collected by Villa's Nigel Reo-Coker, but he was dispossessed by Muntari, who ran past another defender, Zat Knight, to score into the corner.

Portsmouth opened the scoring in the 10th when Gardner put the ball in his own net while marking Portsmouth striker Benjani Mwaruwari.

Gareth Barry scored for Villa with a penalty kick in the 72nd, after Sylvain Distin brought down Ashley Young.

"We are on a great run, scoring goals away from home and looking very strong," Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp said. "However, I would think that the top four are on another level to us. They have got the squads and are strong."

Yakubu scored for Everton in the 51st, 61st and 79th minutes at Goodison Park. His first came on a rebound after Tim Cahill's volley was saved by Fulham goalkeeper Antti Niemi.

He headed in his second and took a cross from Steven Pienaar to score the third.

"The first goal was important, and we got it quickly in the second period and did not look back from there," Everton manager David Moyes said.

Habib Beye scored in injury time to give Newcastle its first win in any competition since Oct. 22.

Birmingham took the lead in the ninth minute with a Cameron Jerome volley after he took a long ball from Mathew Sadler. Obafemi Martins leveled for Newcastle in the 37th on a penalty kick. Birmingham goalkeeper Maik Taylor got a hand to the shot, but the ball went in off the post.