United's Van der Sar breaks shutout mark

[ENGLAND] Manchester United goalie Edwin van der Sar set an English shutout record when United's 5-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday extended his scoreless streak to 1,032 minutes, beating the previous record of 1,025 set by Chelsea's Petr Cech in 2004-05.

Van der Saar has not given up a goal since young Frenchman Samir Nasri scored twice in Arsenal's 2-1 win over United.

What has made the streak so remarkable is that first-place United's backline has been depleted by injuries.

"I am proud of them," United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said. "They have been fantastic in this run. Edwin van der Sar has had a fantastic career, but he was really pleased to get this record. You look at him and what happened has really thrilled him."

United, which leads Liverpool and Aston Villa by three points, has been without starters Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra in recent weeks.

Villa moved into a tie with the Reds thanks to a 1-0 win at Portsmouth on a goal by England striker Emile Heskey in his debut for Villa.

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