Man United   1

Ronaldo (44)

Everton   0

31 January 2009 Old Trafford 75,399

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Man United
1Van der Sar
2Nevillesub6
5Ferdinand
15Vidic
22O'Shea
7Ronaldogoal
24Fletchersub11
16Carrick
7Park
32Tevez
9Berbatov
Subs:
29Kuszczak
6Brownsub2
42Eckersley
20Fabio
11Giggssub24
28Gibson
19Welbeck
Everton
24Howard
2Hibbert
6Jagielka
6Lescott
3Baines
21Osman
18Neville
8Arteta
22Pienaar
25Fellainisub28
17Cahill
Subs:
1Nash
4Yobo
8Castillo
37Jacobsen
26Rodwell
28Anichebesub25
15Gosling

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31/01/2009 17:33, Report by James Tuck
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United 1 Everton 0

Another game, another win, another record.

This hard-fought victory extended the champions’ lead at the top of the table and, in not conceding, Edwin van der Sar now holds English football's record for consecutive clean sheets.

Like last season, the game was settled by a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty. This one, which came just before the interval, was the winger’s 14th goal of the season. But the Reds had to hold off a determined Everton side to end the visitors’ nine-game unbeaten run to go five points clear at the top of league.

United had made one change from the side that demolished West Brom in midweek, with Darren Fletcher, scorer at Goodison Park earlier in the season, replacing Ryan Giggs.

The champions took to the field in black armbands as this was the closest home game to the 51st anniversary of the Munich air disaster of 6 February 1958.

Everton were boosted by the availability of Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini after the influential forwards passed fitness tests.

It was a decidedly more cagey opening to the game than United had experienced at The Hawthorns, with both sides preferring to test the water rather than dive-bomb into it. United enjoyed the majority of the possession early on, however, with Everton content to get behind the ball and punt long balls towards Cahill and the considerable frame of Fellaini.

Unsurpisingly, the visitors’ main threat came from set-pieces and United’s defence had to muscle up to clear more than one dangerous-looking

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