PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Hat-tricks for Liverpool’s Suarez, Man Utd’s Kagawa as Tottenham edge Arsenal

Two players scored hat-tricks in the Premier League on the weekend as the race for Champions League and Europa League places heated up.

Liverpool remained in touch with the top five courtesy of a Luis Suarez treble as they beat Wigan Athletic 4-0 at the DW Stadium.

The Uruguayan ace took his season tally in the league to 21 to move two clear of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie at the top of the scoring chart, making it a total of 28 club goals this campaign. He netted in the 18th, 34th and 49th minutes to add to Stewart Downing’s opener as the Reds stayed seventh on the table.

In Manchester, Shinji Kagawa scored his first hat-trick in English football with a fine display in the 4-0 home victory over Norwich City.

The Japanese ace tallied on the stroke of half-time before two later goals completed the trio prior to Wayne Rooney adding one in the final minute. The win allowed United to go 15 points clear of reigning champions Manchester City who are away to Aston Villa on Monday night.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Demba Ba scored the only goal of the game as Chelsea edged West Bromwich Albion 1-0, Everton brushed aside Reading 3-1 with Marouane Fellaini adding another goal and an assist, QPR kept their survival hopes alive with a 2-1 triumph at Southampton, West Ham United got the better of Stoke City 1-0, Sunderland fought back from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw with Fulham and Swansea City beat Newcastle United 1-0.

In Sunday’s only fixture, Tottenham maintained third spot thanks to a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the North London derby at White Hart Lane.

Gareth Bale scored his 16th league goal of the season, including seven in his past five, before Aaron Lennon added a second as Spurs went seven points clear of the Gunners who were served by Per Mertesacker’s second-half header.

2012/13 Barclays Premier League season scores

Chelsea: 1 (Demba Ba 28’)
West Bromwich Albion: 0
Stamford Bridge, London – 41,548

Everton: 3 (Marouane Fellaini 42’, Steven Pienaar 59’, Kevin Mirallas 66’)
Reading: 1 (Hal Robson-Kanu 84’)
Goodison Park, Liverpool – 35,244

Manchester United: 4 (Shinji Kagawa 45+1’/76’/87’, Wayne Rooney 90’)
Norwich City: 0
Old Trafford, Manchester – 75,586

Southampton: 1 (Gaston Ramirez 45+1’)
Queens Park Rangers: 2 (Loic Remy 14’, Jay Bothroyd 77’)
St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton – 31,728

Stoke City: 0
West Ham United: 1 (Jack Collison 45+4’)
Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent – 22,690

Sunderland: 2 (Craig Gardner (p) 37’, Stephane Sessegnon 70’)
Fulham: 2 (Dimitar Berbatov (p) 16’, Sascha Riether 34’)
Stadium of Light, Sunderland – 39,312

Swansea City: 1 (Luke Moore 85’)
Newcastle United: 0
Liberty Stadium, Swansea – 20,405

Wigan Athletic: 0
Liverpool: 4 (Stewart Downing 2’, Luis Suarez 18’/34’/49’)
DW Stadium, Wigan – 20,804

Tottenham: 2 (Gareth Bale 37’, Aaron Lennon 39’)
Arsenal: 1 (Per Mertesacker 51’)
White Hart Lane, London – 36,170

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