LONDON: Shinji Kagawa scored a hat-trick as Manchester United went 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 4-0 win over Norwich at Old Trafford.
The Japan international gave United a 1-0 the lead just on half-time on an assist from Robin Van Persie. Kagawa added his second in the 76th minute before Wayne Rooney provided him with his third.
Rooney completed a decisive win with United’s fourth goal in the 90th minute as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side pulled 15 points clear of second-placed champions Manchester City, who play Aston Villa on Monday.
Struggling Queens Park Rangers claimed a badly-needed 2-1 win over Southampton at St Mary’s on manager Harry Redknapp’s 66th birthday but it was not enough to lift them off the bottom of the table.
Loic Remy gave QPR the advantage when Junior Hoilett played a ball over the top and found the Frenchman, who lifted the ball over goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
Gaston Ramirez levelled the score up at 1-1 on half-time but Jay Bothroyd put QPR back in front after the break, moments after goalkeeper Julio Cesar limped off at the other end.
Redknapp denied midweek reports about the behaviour of his players during a training break in Dubai.
Demba Ba cheered under-pressure interim manager Rafa Benitez by shooting the 26th-minute goal which brought Chelsea a 1-0 win over West Bromwich at Stamford Bridge.
Benitez was jeered yet again by Chelsea’s own supporters before kick-off and during the first half after his midweek outburst criticising them for spending too much time attacking him and not enough supporting the team.
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez took over the lead in the race for the Premier League’s own Golden Boot with a hat-trick in an easy 4-0 win away to Wigan.
The Uruguay international became the third Reds player to score 20 or more in a Premier League season after Robbie Fowler (25) and Fernando Torres (24). Stewart Downing had headed Liverpool’s opening goal in only the second minute on an assist by newcomer Philippe Coutinho.
Suarez has scored 21 league goals, two more than Van Persie.
Marouane Fellaini inspired Everton to a 3-1 win over Reading. The Belgium international headed home in the 42nd minute and had another effort blocked on the line by Ian Harte. Fellaini set up Steven Pienaar to extend Everton’s lead in the second half and Kevin Mirallas added the third.
Hal Robson-Kanu pulled one back for Reading.
Fulham drew 2-2 with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light after the home side fought back from a two-goal deficit. Dimitar Berbatov put Fulham ahead with a penalty after Craig Gardner fouled Ashkan Dejagah before Sascha Riether made it 2-0 to the Cottagers 10 minutes before the break.
Sunderland hit back two minutes later, though, with Gardner atoning for his earlier mistake when he scored from the spot at the other end of the pitch after Danny Graham was pulled back by Philippe Senderos.
Stephane Sessegnon levelled the score when he pounced on Adam Johnson’s deflected cross in the 70th minute.
Swansea followed up their League Cup triumph by defeating Newcastle 1-0 with an 85th-minute goal from Luke Moore. Earlier Papiss Cisse and Yoan Gouffran had wasted clear chances to win it for Newcastle.
West Ham beat a Stoke missing suspended Robert Huth by 1-0 through substitute Jack Collison’s goal just before half-time.
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