Tom Cleverley's performance draws praise from Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson heaped praise on Tom Cleverley
following the England midfielder's fine performance during Manchester United's 3-1 win against Sunderland at Old Trafford.
Cleverley, 23, exchanged passes with fellow Three Lions midfielder Michael Carrick before curling the ball into the back of the net to double United's lead after Dutchman Robin van Persie had opened the scoring three minutes earlier.
sealed the win with a close-range effort just before the hour mark, while Fraizer Campbell pulled one back for the Black Cats.
Ferguson said: “Tom Cleverley has been progressing well now and is an England international. It was a superb goal, fantastic finish."
The United boss made use of three other Three Lions stars - Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young also helped the league leaders tighten their grip at the top of the table.
Meanwhile, England goalkeeper Joe Hart helped his Manchester City side keep the pressure on United as they triumphed 3-1 against Newcastle United.
Sergio Aguero and Javi Garcia gave City a two-goal lead at the break, although Demba Ba halved it with a second half header.
However, Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure sealed the win when he tapped from close range towards the end of the match.
It was a disappointing afternoon for England captain and Player Of The Year candidate Steven Gerrard
, whose Liverpool side slumped to a surprise 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa at Anfield.
Gerrard diverted a Glen Johnson cross beyond Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan late on to reduce the arrears, but it proved to be little more than a consolation.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers handed starts to Stewart Downing, Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling, while Under-21 midfielder Jordan Henderson came on as a substitute.
Meanwhile, England defender Ryan Shawcross helped his Stoke City maintain their record as the meanest defence in the Premier League as they drew 1-1 with Everton at the Britannia Stadium.
Shawcross turned the ball into his own net to hand Everton the lead, but atoned for his mistake when he provided the assist for Kenwyne Jones' equaliser.
In a typically heroic display, Shawcross also hooked Steven Naismith's goalbound effort off the line.
Everton manager David Moyes included Three Lions internationals Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Leon Osman in his starting line-up.