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Sunderland holds Manchester United

— PHOTO: AP

FIRST STRIKE:Wigan's Jordi Gomez (left) celebrates with teammate Ronnie Stam after scoring against Wolverhampton.

LONDON: Manchester United's faltering away form continued to blight its title challenge when it was held to a 0-0 draw at Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday.

The match started 20 minutes later than scheduled after a burst pipe damaged the visitors' dressing room but there was nothing so destructive about the United attack.

Rafael van der Vaart's rip-roaring week continued on Saturday when he scored both goals as Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1.

Aston Villa took the lead at White Hart Lane when Marc Albrighton tapped in at the far post, but Spurs came back when van der Vaart headed them level in stoppage time at the end of the first half and the Dutchman put them ahead with a well-taken strike 15 minutes from time.

Everton wins

Everton, the only one of the 92 League clubs without a win before kick-off, ended that unwanted record when it climbed off the bottom of the table after beating Birmingham City 2-0 at St. Andrews.

Roger Johnson put through his own net after 54 minutes and Tim Cahill added the second with a header after 90 minutes as Birmingham lost at home in the league for the first time since September last year.

That victory lifted Everton off the bottom of the table into 17th place - sending its arch-rival Liverpool into the relegation zone at least until it plays Blackpool on Sunday.

The results: Birmingham 0 lost to Everton 2 (Johnson 54-og, Cahill 90); Stoke 1 (Walters 48) bt Blackburn 0; Sunderland 0 drew with Manchester United 0; Tottenham 2 (van der Vaart 45, 75) bt Aston Villa 1 (Albrighton 16); West Brom 1 (Morrison 78) drew with Bolton 1 (Elmander 64); West Ham 1 (Piquionne 51) drew with Fulham 1 (Dempsey 33); Wigan 2 (Gomez 65, Rodallega 85) bt Wolves 0 . — Agencies

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