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By ESPN Staff

Rio delighted after Villa thrashing

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand hailed his side's performance as they re-established a five-point lead over title rivals Manchester City with a comfortable 4-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

• Jolly: Young resumes villain role

Ashley Young was at the centre of more penalty controversy seven days after facing accusations of diving against QPR as he went down under minimal contact once again, this time over Ciaran Clark's half-outstretched foot.

Wayne Rooney converted his 30th goal of the season from the resulting spot-kick before Danny Welbeck finished off from close range just before the break. Rooney added the third in the 73rd minute before Nani fired home in injury time as United put further daylight between themselves and City.

Ferdinand dismissed last Wednesday's loss against Wigan as a "blip" and said no-one at the club is taking their foot off the gas despite re-opening the gap at the top.

"Fair dues to Wigan, they played well and we didn't," Ferdinand told Sky Sports. "Today we had to put on a good performance. The onus was on us to do that at home and we did that.

"We put pressure on ourselves to win games. The pressure is on ourselves from within from the fans and boss and other results don't come into it."

Ferdinand also praised United's attacking performance following the early penalty.

"It's always nice to get an early goal," he said. "It settles the team down and makes the team more fluid. You saw that today - we played some really good stuff, some one-touch football and when we're in full flow like that it's great to be behind and watching it.

"We know we need to score goals and if we're on top we need to punish teams. This season we haven't done that enough but today we got a good amount. We want to win every game to the end of the season. That's not changed and that won't change until the end of the season."

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Young went looking for the penalty that gave his side the opening goal but believes a spot-kick was the correct decision.

"I think he played for the penalty," Ferguson said. "If a player decides to put his foot in and he's definitely taken him down then he's fallen in to that. I think it was a dramatic fall (by Young) and maybe he overdid the fall but it was a penalty and there's no doubt about that.

"I don't think they can have any complaint as he has taken him. Good defending has always been good defending - if they read the game and keep their feet in they should really cope with that."

Despite moving further ahead of Manchester City, Ferguson denied his side are now favourites for the league title.

"There could be twists and turns yet but the name of the game is to enjoy ourselves and play with expression like we did today,'' he said. "You can never be too confident. The name is the game is to not drop too many points.

"It was a good result for us. In the first half we played some good stuff and the third goal killed the game and we were able to see it out."


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