Rory McIlroy will take a four-shot lead into the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic after carding a flawless six-under 66 in the third round on Saturday.

The world number one moved into a one-shot lead with a sublime eight-under round of 64 on Friday and matched his opening round score a day later to take a giant stride towards his first victory of the year.

McIlroy's advantage looked set to be even bigger after he birdied five of the first nine holes, but eight consecutive pars prevented him from moving out of sight before he picked up one more shot at the 17th.

The Northern Irishman is now 20 under and will take some stopping on Sunday, as he attempts to win a tournament that holds fond memories for him, with his first professional victory coming in the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic.

McIlroy said: "To be bogey free again today was important to me, especially when you're going out with the lead, "Not to make any mistakes makes it that much harder for anyone else - just to get that up and down on the last was big for momentum going into tomorrow. "I'm very happy. I feel like I could be a little bit more but I'm not going to complain - I'm four ahead going into the final day, so I've put myself in a great position to win tomorrow. "I just have to go and try and play similar golf to the way I have the first three days. "I've been in this position many times before and I know the pitfalls that are waiting out there; it's just a matter of sticking to the same gameplan, being aggressive, making committed swings and giving myself as many chances for birdies as I can." Marc Warren had been in second spot heading into the weekend, but the Scot dropped into a share of eighth after a one-over round of 73.

Morten Orum Madsen matched McIlroy's 66 on Saturday to move into second place on 16 under, with Lee Westwood a further two shots back following his third round of 69.

Danny Willett, Stephen Gallacher, Andy Sullivan and Bernd Wiesberger are 13 under after all four went round in 70 on Saturday.