Manchester United secured a hard-fought win against Stoke City at Old Trafford in Tuesday's midweek fixture in the English Premier League. The win moved them three points clear at the top with Nani's second half screamer giving them a narrow 2-1 win.
United, who were without Wayne Rooney through injury, scored the opener on 26 minutes when Javier Hernandez produced a piece of brilliance with a sublime flick into the net off Nani's cross. However, Stoke battled back and five minutes into the second half, they equalized with Dean Whitehead heading in from 10 yards. However, Nani, on 62 minutes, restored United's lead with a 20 yard left-footed screamer. The goal seemed to deflate Stoke's fight and United increased their lead at the top.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, a late strike from Scott Dann gave Birmingham City a 2-1 win at Blackpool, allowing them to move out of the bottom three. The Blues took the lead when, on 24 minutes, Alexander Hleb pounced on Stephen Crainey's mistake to slip the ball into the net. However, Birmingham wasted many chances and were made to pay when Blackpool equalized through DJ Campbell's volley in the 68th minute. But Birmingham continued to pile pressure on the Blackpool defence and deservedly found the winner in the 89th minute Scott Dann got to a knock-down and slipped it in.
Fulham thrashed West Brom 3-0 at Craven Cottage to climb out of the relegation zone and move to 14th in the table. West Brom keeper Scott Carson was to blame for the opener as he let slip Simon Davis' speculative shot from 25 yards just before half-time. Carson, who had a makeshift defence in front of him, looked out of sorts and was to blame for Fulham's second goal as well. It came from a corner and Carson tried to come out and punch the ball away. However, he failed to do so and allowed Clint Dempsey to shoot into a keeper-less goal. With 25 minutes remaining, Brede Hangeland broke away and sealed the win leaving West Brom languishing in 15th position.