Dimitar Berbatov scored his third hat trick of the season as Manchester United thrashed Birmingham 5-0 to move two points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Wingers Ryan Giggs and Nani were the other scorers at Old Trafford for United, which swept to an easy victory to now make it 22 games without a defeat. Berbatov, who leads the Premier League with 17 goals, became the first player to score three Premier League hat tricks in a season since Ruud van Nistelrooy achieved the feat for United in the 2002-03 campaign.
Arsenal moved into second place as they beat Wigan 3-0 with Robin Van Persie scoring all three Arsenal goals. in front in the 21st in a one-sided match against 10-man Wigan at Emirates Stadium and the Netherlands international added further goals in the 58th and 85th. He blotted his copybook by missing a second-half penalty, which would have taken him to seven goals in his last three games.
Manchester City slipped to third after losing 1-0 at Aston Villa. Darren Bent made his debut for Villa and immediately started to repay that club-record fee of 18 million pounds with the only goal in the 18th minute. City dominated the second half but couldn’t find a way through a resilient Villa defence.
Kenny Dalglish finally got his first victory since returning as manager of Liverpool as the Reds defeated Wolverhampton 3-0 away thanks to Fernando Torres’ double and a sublime volley by Raul Meireles. The loss keeps Wolves in the bottom three, level on 21 points with bottom side West Ham, which conceded a late goal at Everton to draw 2-2.
West Ham twice took the lead against Everton, through Jonathan Spector and Frederic Piquionne, but both times Everton fought back, with first Diniyar Bilyaletdinov scoring and then Marouane Fellaini equalizing a minute into injury time.
Elsewhere and Arron Lennon goal in injury time gave Spurs a share of the points at Newcastle while two goals from Kieran Richardson’s proved enough for sixth-place Sunderland against Blackpool. Midfielder Charlie Adam got the hosts’ consolation at Bloomfield Road.