Manchester United beat Aston Villa

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Manchester United beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Manchester United increased their lead at the top of the English premiership on Saturday when they beat Aston Villa 1-0 in front of a 67,592 crowd at Old Trafford. United's Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the only goal of the game -- his 28th of the season -- as the champions made it 12 league wins out of 13 to extend their lead at the top of the table to five points. Former Manchester United hero Peter Schmeichel now with Aston Villa returned to Old Trafford for the first time since he left three years ago. The only goal of the game came in the 50th minute. George Boateng made the mistake of dribbling the ball back towards his own penalty area only to see the ball with Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Dutch striker scored his 28th goal of the season and 19th of the premiership to give United a 1-0 win. Meanwhile, in the Spanish La Liga, Real Madrid were stunned by Alaves seven minutes into the game. Richard Witschge with a header that completely beat Iker Casillas gave the visitors the lead. Real found the equaliser in the 45th minute. Guti headed home a Michel Salgado cross for his second goal of the season. Raul put Madrid ahead in the 63rd minute, before he got the home team a penalty. Madrid's skipper Fernando Hierro put the match beyond doubt with a powerful spot kick. Real went on to win 3-1.

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