Tevez celebrates after scoring Man Utd's second against Man City
By Mandeep Sanghera
Manchester United moved a step closer to retaining the Premier League title after beating rivals Manchester City.
Cristiano Ronaldo's deflected free-kick put United ahead after wrong-footing keeper Shay Given, who got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.
Carlos Tevez struck the City woodwork before powering in a 20-yard strike off the post to extend United's advantage.
Robinho wasted City's best chance when he shot wide from eight yards as the home side eased to victory.
United had gone into the game having seen Liverpool draw level with them at the Premier League summit with a win at West Ham on Saturday.
Man Utd pleased with Tevez contribution
Rafael Benitez's side were hoping the pressure would produce a wobble from the Old Trafford side but, instead, United's pace, power and passing was too much for City.
United have a habit of timing their good form for the end of season run in and, even though this was their 62nd match of the season, they showed little sign of letting the league title slip from their grasp.
The hosts quickly set about City and Ronaldo teed up Ji-Sung Park, who dragged his angled shot wide of the far post.
United had slipped into their slick passing game and it did not take long for their pressure to be rewarded with a goal after City midfielder Vincent Kompany lost possession.
United broke and a back-tracking Stephen Ireland fouled Berbatov to leave Ronaldo to score from the type of 25-yard free-kick he excels at.
Robinho tried to respond for City when the ball broke kindly for him just outside the United area only for the Brazilian to shoot wide.
Too many of City's passes were going awry and left their defence straining as they gave United the chance to continually launch attacks.
Tevez almost made them pay when he shifted inside and curled a strike which came off the angle of the woodwork.
But the Argentine made no mistake when Berbatov sublimely controlled a long Darren Fletcher ball and squared the ball for him to smash in a shot off the inside of the post.
City came out with more ambition after the break and Robinho had a great chance to pull one back.
He latched on to a Nigel de Jong through ball and showed excellent control only to shoot horribly wide from eight yards.
That was a rare chance for a City side who were unable to exert any concerted pressure on a resolute United defence led by the towering presence of Nemanja Vidic.
Hughes hoping for seventh place finish
United were even able to step off the gas and conserve some energy ahead of playing again on Wednesday against Wigan.
Martin Petrov did force United keeper Edwin van der Sar into a full-length diving save to turn his shot round the post, while at the other end Tevez again hit the post, this time with a close-range header.
The only slight on United's win was the angry reaction of Ronaldo to being substituted but they now need four points from their remaining three games - with the others against Arsenal and Hull - to clinch the title.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Vidic, Evans (O'Shea 71), Evra, Ronaldo (Scholes 58), Fletcher, Giggs, Park (Rooney 58), Berbatov, Tevez. Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Neville, Carrick, Nani.
Goals: Ronaldo 18, Tevez 45.
Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, Elano, Ireland, Kompany, De Jong (Petrov 73), Robinho (Evans 89), Caicedo (Bojinov 63). Subs Not Used: Hart, Zabaleta, Fernandes, Berti.
Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).
BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Man Utd's Carlos Tevez (8.50 on 90 minutes).
Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.
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