Rooney's hat-trick clinches United win at Pompey

Updated: 29 November 2009 15:52 IST

Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick and Ryan Giggs collected his 100th Premier League goal as Manchester United won 4-1 at bottom-place Portsmouth on Saturday.


Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick and Ryan Giggs collected his 100th Premier League goal as Manchester United won 4-1 at bottom-place Portsmouth on Saturday.

Giggs reached goal landmark a day before his 36th birthday to help the defending champions close the gap on Chelsea to two points ahead of the leaders' trip to Arsenal on Sunday.

"He's an exceptional player. A rarity. He will play for two years yet," said 67-year-old United manager Alex Ferguson said. "Happy Birthday. He's had it 36 times in his life, wait until he gets to 67. I think he'll be retired by then."

In the battle for the Champions League spots, Tottenham moved up to third after drawing 1-1 with Aston Villa, while Manchester City slumped to a seventh successive draw after being held 1-1 by Hull.

West Ham boosted its survival hopes by defeating Burnley 5-3, but Bolton remained in the relegation zone after drawing 1-1 at Fulham, while Wigan beat Sunderland 1-0 and Blackburn drew 0-0 with Stoke.

Avram Grant took charge of Portsmouth for the first time after being appointed manager following Paul Hart's dismissal. But Grant _ whose first and last matches as Chelsea manager were losses to United _ again had the misfortune to face the 18-time English champions after 18 months away from management.

Grant's team got off to the worst possible start when Rooney tumbled in the penalty area following a clumsy challenge by Michael Brown. But after Rooney converted from the penalty kick in the 25th minute, Kevin-Prince Boateng leveled from the spot at the other end after Nemanja Vidic fouled Frederic Piquionne.

Rooney restored United's lead three minutes into the second half when he latched onto Ryan Giggs' pass. The England forward grabbed a third minutes later when Piquionne was penalized for fouling Giggs and he slotted in the penalty kick.

And Giggs found time to score to leave Pompey rooted to the bottom of the standings.

"The football was good and the spirit but there are things we have to do better _ first to take points," Grant said. "When we play against teams close to us we need to win them."

At Manchester City, not even the return of Brazil forward Robinho after three months on the sidelines could return the big-spending club to winning ways.

Shaun Wright-Phillips had put big-spending City ahead on the stroke of half time with a 25-meter (yard) strike, but Jimmy Bullard leveled in the closing minutes from the penalty spot after Joleon Lescott was adjudged to have handled.

"Of course, it is a disappointing run we're on because we're failing to see out victories when we have the lead," City manager Mark Hughes said. "We're trying to get something started here but at times we look exactly what we are, a side that has been thrown together very quickly."

After having put nine goals past Wigan on Sunday, Tottenham only found the net once at Villa Park.

Defender Michael Dawson volleyed in the visitors' equalizer in the 77th minute. Gabriel Agbonlahor scored his eighth of the season for Villa in an early goalmouth scramble after Carlos Cuellar's header had been blocked on the line.

After being humiliated 9-1 by Spurs, Wigan rebounded at home to Sunderland courtesy of Hugo Rodallega's sixth goal of the season.

Sunderland striker Darren Bent, who is black, later said his mother was on the receiving end of racist comments.

"So we get beat by Wigan and to make matters worse my mum gets racially abused by a SUNDERLAND fan," Bent wrote on Twitter. "I won't stand for that."

At Upton Park, West Ham boosted its relegation battle by winning for only the third time this season.

Jack Collison, Junior Stanislas and Carlton Cole gave West Ham a three-goal lead before halftime against Burnley

Guillermo Franco headed in after the break and Luis Jiminez scored the first goal of his loan spell from Inter Milan to make it 5-0 before the hour mark.

Despite Steven Fletcher scoring twice and Chris Eagles also hitting the target to reduce the deficit, Burnley has collected just one point now from seven away matches since returning to the top flight. Steven Caldwell was sent off late on for the visitors.

At Craven Cottage, Ivan Klasnic sent Bolton into the break with the lead and despite Damien Duff equalizing for Fulham, the draw ended the visitors' run of three straight defeats.

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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