United run riot at West Brom; Stoke fall deep in the mire after losing at Spurs; Heskey scores on debut as Villa go third; Sunderland beat the Cottagers

West Brom 0 – Manchester United 5 (Premier League, January 27, 2009) At the Hawthorns, Dimitar Berbatov had the first shot on target, drilling a shot straight at Carson. And it was Berbatov who broke the deadlock, combining beautifully with Michael Carrick to slot in the opener for United. West Brom were fortunate not to fall further behind when Carlos Tevez steered a shot just wide from a Ronaldo cross. The Baggies were then served a crippling blow when captain Paul Robinson picked up a straight red for a challenge on Park Ji-Sung. And the Baggies were put  to the sword when a horrendous fumble from butterfingers Carson allowed Tevez the simple job for scoring the second. (First half highlights here.) West Brom came within inches of pulling a goal back when Ryan Donk pierced a hole through the United defence only to see his effort crash against the post. And the miss proved costly, Nemanja Vidic met Giggs’ corner in full force to head in the third before Giggs (who had another great game) teed up Cristiano Ronaldo for the fourth. Ronaldo, back in the goals, chalked up the fifth from Berbatov’s lay-off.

Tottenham 3 – Stoke 1 (Premier League, January 27, 2009) In a massive six-pointer at White Hart Lane, Spurs took the lead against Stoke with a lovely goal from Aaron Lennon who broke down the left, raced into the box and saw his shot deflect through Sorenson’s legs. Tottenham quickly chalked up the second, slick passing from Modric to Pavlyuchenko freed Jermain Defoe in the box and the striker gobbled up his second league goal since rejoining the club from Pompey. And the Lane was rocking minutes later, Modric’s left wing cross was powered home by Michael Dawson for the third. Stoke pulled a goal back after the break, Etherington’s chipped pass found James Beattie who controlled a fired past debutant Carlo Cudicini.

Portsmouth 0 – Aston Villa 1 (Premier League, January 27, 2009) Emile Heskey made a perfect start to his Villa career, smashing home a first time right-foot strike from Gabriel Agbonlahor’s flick-on. Another disappointing result for Pompey was compounded by Nadir Belhadj’s controversial dismissal in the second half.

Sunderland 1 – Fulham 0 (Premier League, January 27, 2009) Kenwyne Jones finished from close range on 56 minutes after Mark Schwarzer could only parry Djibril Cisse’s rasping drive.