Late Tevez goal gives Man Utd win

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The Independent Football

Carlos Tevez struck a late goal to give Manchester United a 1-0 win at Stoke City after the home side played the last 20 minutes with 10 men in the opening game of the Premier League's Christmas programme.

United, hoping to put the pressure on the other title contenders who were all in action later, barely threatened in the first half and though they were livelier after the break they also had a few scares as Rory Delap's long throw-ins again caused problems.

Stoke, beaten 5-0 at Old Trafford six weeks ago, defended resolutely, particularly after having Andy Wilkinson sent off for a second booking, until Gary Neville and Dimitar Berbatov combined to set up Tevez to thump in from close range seven minutes from time.

Chelsea were also in action in a later lunchtime kickoff, at home to West Bromwich Albion, while Liverpool were at home to Bolton Wanderers (1500) and Arsenal away at Aston Villa in an evening game.