Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United in action with Robert Snodgrass of Norwich during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford on March 2, 2013 in Manchester, England.
Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United in action with Robert Snodgrass of Norwich during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford on March 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. Michael Regan / Getty Images

Kagawa hat-trick ensures crucial win for Manchester United

JAPANESE international midfielder Shinji Kagawa played his way into the history books after he became the first Asian player to score a Premier League hat-trick in Manchester United's 4-0 thumping of Norwich City at Old Trafford on Sunday morning.

Kagawa gave United the lead just before half-time and scored twice after the break before Wayne Rooney completed the win as the Red Devils moved 15 points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

Manchester United now only need 19 points from their remaining 10 games of the season to take the title back to the red half of the city.

Veteran Ryan Giggs had been expected to make his 1000th senior appearance for club and country against Norwich, but United manager Sir Alex Ferguson kept him and the fans waiting by not including him in the squad.

Ferguson said the 39-year-old would reach his career milestone against Real Madrid in the Champions League second leg showdown in Manchester this week.

Elsewhere, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez also scored a hat-trick in Liverpool's 4-0 win at Wigan Athletic and now heads the Premier League scoring charts with 21.

Chelsea temporarily leapfrogged Tottenham Hotspur, who played Arsenal, into third place after Demba Ba's first-half goal earned the Blues a 1-0 win at home against West Bromwich Albion.

Bottom-of-the-ladder QPR gave manager Harry Redknapp a perfect present on his 66th birthday, a 2-1 win at Southampton and second-last Reading also came to the party after losing 3-1 at Everton.

League Cup winners Swansea City avoided a Wembley hangover with a 1-0 home win over Newcastle United, Sunderland recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 with visitors Fulham, while West Ham United became only the second team to win at Stoke this season after Jack Collison scored the only goal of the game.

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