Hart hails Manchester United

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Portsmouth manager Paul Hart believes the Premier League title is in the bag for Manchester United.

The Red Devils overcame Pompey 2-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, with Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick scoring the goals that opened up a three-point lead over Liverpool at the Premier League summit.

"I can't see anything to stop them becoming champions," said the Pompey chief. "They are an extremely good side and the result at Anfield on Tuesday (Liverpool's 4-4 draw with Arsenal) was a major boost for them."

Despite the welcome three points, Sir Alex Ferguson was not entirely happy.

Having watched Rooney tap home Ryan Giggs' pinpoint cross to give the hosts an early lead, Ferguson then saw them fail to convert a string of chances that could have put the match beyond Portsmouth before half-time.

And when the south coast outfit started to create a few chances after the break, Ferguson feared United would fail to seize on Liverpool's slip against Arsenal.

"In the first-half we produced some of our best football all season," said Ferguson. "But we missed a lot of chances. It gave them encouragement and when they created a couple of chances in the second-half I thought 'we are going to throw this away'.

"It is so embarrassing to be talking about throwing a game away when you should be maybe six goals up."

Not for the first time, Paul Scholes came to the rescue, marking his entry into United's exclusive 600 club with a sublime pass to set up Carrick near the end.

"It is not difficult for me to appreciate Paul Scholes," said Hart. "I use him as an example to all the kids I work with at Portsmouth and have done for many years. He is a shining example of someone who doesn't take liberties with the ball. He controls everything stone dead. It all looks perfect."

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Ryan Giggs
Premier League
Michael Carrick
Manchester United
Paul Scholes
Wayne Rooney

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