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Kagawa steals show as United march on

Shinji Kagawa celebrates scoring his third goal against Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Story highlights

  • Manchester United go 15 points clear at top of English Premier League
  • Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa scores hat-trick in 4-0 demolition of Norwich City
  • Rafa Benitez ends turbulent week on a positive note as Chelsea beat West Brom 1-0

Shinji Kagawa scored a hat-trick as champions-elect Manchester United crushed Norwich City 4-0 at Old Trafford in the English Premier League on Saturday.

It was a 39-year-old Welsh winger that was expected to hog the headlines this weekend but Ryan Giggs, who was due to play his 1,000th game, was left out of Alex Ferguson's squad. Instead, it was the 23-year-old midfielder from Kobe whose face will be plastered over the back pages of Sunday's newspapers.

The Japan international opened the scoring with a fine volley in first-half stoppage time before grabbing a second, then a third in the 76th and 87th minutes as United finished another game in rousing fashion.

Wayne Rooney added a fourth in injury time to complete the rout to send the Red Devils 15 points clear at the top of the table and coasting towards a 20th League title.

Rafa Benitez's week finished in more positive fashion as Chelsea beat West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge -- Demba Ba getting the only goal of the game in the 28th minute.

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The win lifts the Blues to third in the table above Tottenham Hotspur who play Arsenal at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Everton are now two points behind the Gunners after a comfortable 3-1 win over 19th place Reading at Goodison Park.

Marouane Fellaini headed home the opener in the 42nd minute before Steven Pienaar doubled the lead in the 59th minute.

Belgian striker Kevin Mirallas added a third seven minutes later with Hal Robson-Kanu getting a consolation goal for the visitors six minutes before the end.

Luis Suarez also scored a hat-trick on Saturday as Liverpool trounced Wigan 4-0 at the DW Stadium.

Stewart Downing gave the Reds the lead in the second minute before the Uruguayan striker took center stage. The treble means Suarez is now the top goalscorer in the Premier League this season with 21 goals. The win lifts Liverpool to 7th in the table.

At the foot of the table, Queens Park Rangers closed the gap between themselves and second-from-bottom Reading to three points with a 2-1 win away to Southampton.

Third-from-bottom Aston Villa take on Manchester City on Monday.

A Jack Collison goal earned West Ham United a vital three points against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. The win, their first in three games, lifts them to 12th.

There was no post-cup hangover for Swansea City as Michael Laudrup's League Cup winning side beat Newcastle United 1-0.

The game between Sunderland and Fulham ended in a 2-2 draw.

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