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Manchester United moved to within three points of Premiership leaders Arsenal with a hard-fought 1-0 win overBirmingham City at St Andrews.

The win, Manchester United’s sixth on the trot, prompted Ferguson to discuss the prospect of catching Arsenal.

“It’s going right to the end, this one,’ said Ferguson.

“It will be interesting this weekend when Arsenal have to go to Newcastle.”

“We got to within a point of Arsenal before Christmas and then lost two on the trot. If we get to within a point of them again I don’t think we’ll slip up.” he added.

The win saw the return of Paul Scholes and Wes Brown, while in goal Roy Carroll replaced the injured Fabien Barthez.

Birmingham’s defence proved to be very strong and only allowed Manchester United two clear chances. The first fell to Ruud Van Nistelrooy on 56 minutes, and as we have come to expect, the Dutchman scored his 26th goal of the season with a neat turn and shot in the box.

Birmingham lie 16th and after a promising start to the campaign, their season looks set to culminate in a relegation battle. Steve Bruce’s side llie just six points ahead of 18th placed West Brom and have difficult matches against Chelsea and Liverpool in the coming weeks.

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