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40-goal Ronaldo puts United on brink of title

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 May 2008

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Cristiano Ronaldo's 39th and 40th goals of the season helped Manchester United to a 4-1 win over West Ham that leaves Alex Ferguson's side on the brink of retaining the Premier League title.

The win at Old Trafford on Saturday means that United will be sure of becoming English champions for the 17th time if closest rivals Chelsea lose at Newcastle on Monday.

Failing that, a win at Wigan on May 11, the final day of the season, will secure the tenth title of Ferguson's reign at Old Trafford.

Some woeful defending by West Ham allowed Ronaldo to score in the 3rd and 24th minutes, taking his tally of league goals this season to 30 — one short of Alan Shearer's Premier League record.

Carlos Tevez then beat his former team-mate Robert Green from nearly 30 yards to end the lunchtime encounter as a contest.

Dean Ashton pulled a goal back for the visitors with a superbly executed overhead kick two minutes later and United were given temporary cause for concern when, eight minutes before half-time, Nani was sent off for head-butting Lucas Neill.

But even with ten men, United had too much quality for a lacklustre West Ham side with nothing left to play for and a deflected shot from Michael Carrick, just before the hour mark, completed a convincing win.

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