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Monday 26 December 2011

Barclays Premier League Boxing Day round-up

Man Utd hammer Wigan to move level with Man City on points at the top of the table

Berbatov hit a hat-trick as Manchester United eased to victory

Manchester United 5-0 Wigan

Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick as Manchester United cruised to victory against Wigan Athletic, a win which moved them level on points with neighbours Manchester City at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Ji-Sung Park produced a cool finish inside 10 minutes to put United ahead, then Wigan suffered a blow as Conor Sammon was shown a red card for a foul on Michael Carrick.

Berbatov rifled in United's second shortly afterward, then produced a great finish to make it 3-0.

Antonio Valencia drilled in a fourth before Berbatov stroked in a cool penalty to complete his fourth Manchester United hat-trick and leave United behind City on goal difference.

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Bolton 0-2 Newcastle

Newcastle hit two goals in two minutes as they returned to winning ways with victory at Bolton.

Substitute Hatem Ben Arfa connected beautifully with Ryan Taylor's cross on 69 minutes to put the Magpies ahead and shortly afterwards, Demba Ba bundled in Gabriel Obertan's cross.

Newcastle held out for a victory which ended a run of six matches without a win.

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Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn keeper Mark Bunn produced a brilliant injury-time save from Andy Carroll and Adam Henley then superbly cleared Daniel Agger's header off the line as Rovers earned a battling draw at Liverpool.

Charlie Adam sliced the ball into his own net just before half-time to give bottom side Rovers a surprise half-time lead at Anfield.

Maxi Rodriguez headed Liverpool level early in the second half, but although the Reds had the majority of the play, they were unable to break a resilient Blackburn back line.

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Sunderland 1-1 Everton

Leighton Baines' second-half penalty denied Sunderland victory after substitute Jack Colback had given the Black Cats the lead.

Colback fired the home side ahead on 26 minutes with a low shot which deflected in off Sylvain Distin.

But Baines rifled in the spot-kick after Leon Osman was brought down in the box.

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West Brom 0-0 Manchester City

West Brom produced a battling display as they denied Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City victory.

City's Mario Balotelli came closest to breaking the deadlock with a 30-yard shot that hit the bar, but West Brom had chances too and a Jerome Thomas drive struck the post.

The Baggies held out and became the first team to keep a clean sheet against City in the Barclays Premier League this season.

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Key Points

  • Berbatov hits three as Man Utd crush Wigan
  • West Brom battle to draw against Man City
  • Newcastle return to winning ways at Bolton