|MANCHESTER UNITED FIFTEEN POINTS CLEAR, QPR GRAB PRICELESS AWAY WIN
SportingPreview.com: 2 March 2013
Manchester United went fifteen points clear at the top of the Premier League after Shinji Kagawa scored his first United hat-trick as the Red Devils warmed up for their Champions League duel with Real Madrid by brushing aside Norwich 4-0.
United were, for most of this afternoon's contest, well below par but the champions-elect eventually moved up a gear with Kagawa smahing his hat-trick in the second half and Wayne Rooney grabbing a late fourth with a superlative strike.
Ryan Giggs, Rafael and Rio Ferdinand were all notable absentees ahead of Tuesday's meeting with Real Madrid, deemed so important by Jose Mourinho that he could do without Cristiano Ronaldo for the latest 'El Clasico' with Barcelona.
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Everton maintained their push to finish in the Champions League places with a clinical 3-1 victory over Reading at Goodison Park, one that leave the Royals firmly entrenched in the bottom three.
West Ham earned all three points against Stoke thanks to Jack Collison's first-half strike at the Britannia Stadium. But the visitors' victory came at a cost as Joe Cole and Matthew Taylor were forced off injured.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp got the perfect birthday present as the Premier League's bottom-placed side took three points from former club Southampton.
Victory was the ideal tonic for Redknapp after waking up on his 66th birthday to damning reports of ill-discipline on a recent Dubai training camp.
Rather than throw the strugglers off track, though, QPR performed admirably on the south coast and opened the scoring after just 14 minutes through Loic Remy with Bothroyd scoring the 77th minute winner.
Luke Moore came off the bench to fire Capital One Cup winners Swansea above Liverpool in the Premier League as they beat Newcastle 1-0 at Liberty Stadium.
Dimitar Berbatov kept calm to slot home a cheeky penalty and extend his unbeaten run but Fulham had to hang on for a point after throwing away a two-goal lead.
Chelsea saw off West Brom at Stamford Bridge and it looks like Rafa Benitez has suvived the curse the Baggoes have on Chelsea managers.
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