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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cole Keeps United in Title Race

LONDON -- Andy Cole kept alive Manchester United's dream of a championship hat-trick by firing two goals in the team's 3-2 win at Coventry.

The $9.8 million marksman hit Monday's winner with 11 minutes left to cut Blackburn's lead at the top of the Premier League to five points.

Blackburn has 86 points with two games remaining while second-placed United is at 81 with three to play. Blackburn was upset 2-0 by relegation-threatened West Ham on Sunday.

An error from defender Kevin Richardson enabled former Newcastle striker Cole to produce a piece of match-winning opportunism.

With the score 2-2, Richardson's attempt to head the ball back to his goalkeeper Jon Gould from just inside the Coventry half only found Cole, who flicked the ball up and over the stranded keeper, stepped around him and volleyed into the empty net.

Coventry had twice hit back through Peter Ndlovu in the 39th minute and Steven Pressley in the 72nd to cancel out strikes by Paul Scholes after 32 minutes and Cole in the 55th.

United's performance underlined its resilience in a match in which it was forced to play without injured skipper Steve Bruce, wingers Ryan Giggs and Andrei Kanchelskis and suspended midfield pair Paul Ince and Roy Keane.

Liverpool squandered a chance of taking over third place Tuesday when it was held 0-0 by Wimbledon.

A victory would have put Liverpool above Nottingham Forest on goal difference but it was Wimbledon that climbed one place to eighth on the strength of its tie at Selhurst Park.

Both teams missed good chances. Wimbledon's Warren Barton headed straight at David James from close range after eight minutes, and Robbie Fowler's last minute shot for Liverpool was well saved by Neil Sullivan.


Danish international Brian Laudrup has become the first overseas winner of the Scottish football writers' Player of the Year award.

The Rangers forward collected the accolade after his first season in Scotland following a ?2.2 million ($3.55 million) move from Italy's Fiorentina last June. (Reuters, AP)