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Sir Alex Ferguson was pleased Manchester United showed their ruthlessness as his side thumped West Brom 5-0 at The Hawthorns to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Dimitar Berbatov opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, before West Brom skipper Paul Robinson was then controversially sent-off for a challenge on Park Ji-Sung.

Carlos Tevez doubled the advantage a minute before half-time after Scott Carson had dropped a free-kick and United wrapped up the victory in the second period via goals from Nemanja Vidic (60) and a Cristiano Ronaldo brace (65, 73).

Asked what pleased him most about the victory, Ferguson told Sky Sports: "The scoreline was very important for us I think.
Ruthless streak

"We showed a ruthless streak about us tonight for the first time this season and it was a long time coming. I think we need to have it - I think goal difference could play a part and over the years we've always held that advantage over our opponents, so it was a satisfying result in that respect."

He thought the goal before half-time killed it for his side and - despite West Brom having a spell after the interval - the third goal then put the game to rest.

Asked about Robinson's red card, he said: "From where I was sitting I thought it was a reckless challenge but they tell me that from the opposite side it wasn't as reckless as I thought at the time and I can understand why the referee has given the red card.

"I think it was a needless challenge more than anything, I think with Ji-Sung sliding in and being there first and he's followed in, and I think it was just a reckless challenge."

He was not sure if his side would have gone on to win the game if Robinson had not been sent off.


"It is always difficult for a team with ten men when you're one-nil down, it would have been difficult for West Brom, but you're never sure in football," he said, although he thought at that stage his side were playing well enough to win.

He added he was proud of his team for getting the record of 11 clean sheets in the Premier League and while his side are now three points clear in the title race, he still thought March and April would be the crucial months.

"I think we have started to overcome the problem of going to Japan, we were playing catch-up and now we have got our noses in front there hopefully we can stay there - it is not an easy league as you know, it's a difficult league but I think the form of the team is starting to get better," he said, adding what helps is getting his injured players back.,19528,11667_4858552,00.html
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