Football

Fergie: Villa can break top four

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Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped Aston Villa as the only possible gatecrashers to the top four this season.

Although Manchester United returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory against West Ham to keep up the pressure on leaders Liverpool and closest challengers Chelsea, with Arsenal dropping points again, a chink in the armoury of England's leading quartet has been spotted.

"I do not see anyone breaking in, other than Aston Villa," said the United boss. "It is possible they might do it - but no-one else."

Ferguson's concern is United and, despite easing home on Wednesday night thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's double, he was not happy with his team's response to Saturday's disappointing draw at Everton.

"The first half was magnificent but the second was disappointing," said the Scot.

"I was ready for more of the same. I felt we were going to add to our goal tally, which could be important at the end of the season, but we didn't capitalise."

Ferguson was able to enthuse about Ronaldo's second, his fifth of the season, which owed everything to the brilliance of Dimitar Berbatov.

Seemingly shadowed by James Collins, Berbatov left the Hammers defender stranded next to the byline with an amazing pirouette before presenting Ronaldo with a two-yard tap-in.

"Dimitar's play for the second goal was absolutely magnificent," said Ferguson. "You would pay a lot of money to watch that.

"He has such fantastic control and balance. It truly was marvellous."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Internationals
Dimitar Berbatov
Football
Chelsea
Alex
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Everton
James Collins
Aston Villa
West Ham United
Liverpool

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