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The BBC's Ian Brown
"United cantered to the points aided by some lamentable defending"
 real 28k

Alex Ferguson
"We're starting to play well now and that pleases me"
 real 28k

Saturday, 25 March, 2000, 17:17 GMT
Man Utd surge clear

Bradford 0-4 Man Utd

Dwight Yorke left much of Yorkshire cursing his name by scoring United's first two goals.

Second half strikes from Paul Scholes and David Beckham then finished off the Valley Parade outfit.

Key moments
Bradford wasteful early on
37 mins: Yorke heads Utd into lead
40: Yorke's cross loops into net
71: Scholes' stunning volley
79: Beckham slots home past Clarke
For relegation-threatened Bradford this was a demoralising home defeat as poor defending ruined their own good work and early dominance.

After almost six months without a home defeat Bradford have now lost two in a row and are still stuck in the bottom three.

For the Bantams' West Yorkshire neighbours Leeds, the Old Trafford side's win was also bad news.

The result took the Manchester club seven points clear at the top of the Premiership - at least until Leeds visit Leicester on Sunday.

Stars return

United made six changes to their midweek European side with Beckham and Ryan Giggs joining Yorke and Cole back in the team.

Bradford had Matt Clarke back in goal after a two-month lay off with a knee injury while Jorge Cadete started his first game after four successive sub appearances.

The home side enjoyed the opening chances with Mark Bosnich starting erratically in the visitors' goal.

A Peter Beagrie shot was spilled by the Australian who was also almost caught out by Cadete when dwelling on a clearance.

Jamie Lawrence then struck a half volley just over the crossbar and Dean Windass was denied by Phil Neville.

It took United 23 minutes to create anything, with Beckham's long through-ball finding Giggs, who lobbed over Clarke but also over the bar.

The Bradford keeper was called into action on the half hour when he denied Yorke after Beckham's sharp delivery to the near post was flicked on by Scholes.

Goal rush

But United were clinical in exploiting Bradford's first defensive lapse with Beckham's corner finding Yorke unmarked and powerfully heading past Clarke.

The United striker's second also saw more bad defending, but while Yorke';s finish was surely an accident it followed some superb crisp approach play.

Beckham and Giggs were both involved before the Welshman played Yorke into space just outside Bradford's six-yard area.

The striker tried to pick out Cole, but the cross looped over Clarke as Yorke's striker partner followed it into the net.

Both sides had opportunities after the break with Giggs firing straight at Clarke in the opening minute.

Lawrence and Beagrie also both saw powerful drives blocked by United defenders.

Beckham booked

Beckham was also booked for chopping down Beagrie in the centre circle although it did not stop the midfielder picking out Gary Neville, whose header was palmed wide by Clarke.

United made sure of the points with another goal created from a Beckham corner, although this time Bradford's defenders could not be blamed.

The outswinger was met by Scholes on the edge of the area, and his volley scorched over the ducking Yorke and past Clarke's helpless dive to the left.

Beckham capped an impressive personal performance when Giggs set him up to strike the fourth from the edge of the area.

Clarke was wrong-footed and the goal was allowed to stand despite Cole and Yorke both standing in offside positions.


Bradford: Clarke, Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Jacobs, Lawrence, McCall, Windass, Beagrie, Saunders, Cadete. Subs: Westwood, Blake, Sharpe, Dreyer, Davison.

Man Utd: Bosnich, G. Neville, Berg, Silvestre, P. Neville, Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Cole, Yorke. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Butt, Sheringham, Solskjaer, Wallwork.

Referee: G Poll (Tring)

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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.