Berbatov's hat-trick sees off Liverpool; Chelsea perfect
Dimitar Berbatov scored his first ever Manchester United hat-trick as they beat Liverpool 3-2 in a thrilling Premier League encounter at Old Trafford on Sunday, dpa reported.
The Bulgarian scored twice - the second with a brilliant overhead kick - to put United 2-0 up on the hour mark but Steven Gerrard pulled the visitors level with two goals.
But Berbatov then headed the winner six minutes from time, climbing above Jamie Carragher to send the ball into the corner of the net.
"It was probably my best day in a United shirt," Berbatov said. "Obviously I am happy. I am going home with a smile on my face. But I am nothing special. I am going home to play with my kids."
The win moved United back up to third place, though they are still four points behind leaders Chelsea, who hammered Blackpool 4-0. Manchester City won 2-0 at Wigan Athletic to go fourth.
United dominated the early stages and Nani had a great chance but Liverpool held out firmly until the 38-minute mark when Berbatov headed the ball into the corner.
The Bulgarian striker then produced a moment of magic when he controlled a cross on his thigh with his back to goal and then fired a stunning overhead kick off the crossbar to make it 2-0.
Liverpool were given a lifeline, though, when Fernando Torres was pulled down by Jonny Evans and Gerrard converted from the penalty spot.
John O'Shea then escaped with a yellow card when he pulled down Torres on the edge of the area, but Gerrard made United pay by slipping the free kick through a hole in the wall to equalize.
But Berbatov had the last word, outjumping Carragher and heading the ball past the stranded Pepe Reina to seal victory for the home side.
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson said he believed his side were unlucky not to get something out of the game.
"I thought our second half performance was really good and we deserved to get back into it but we've conceded three goals from crosses and we're disappointed with that," he said.
"Maybe if we'd had some more composure at the end we'd have been able to see it out."
Florent Malouda scored twice as Chelsea crushed Blackpool to set a new Premier League record as they took their goal tally to 21 from their first five games.
Salomon Kalou put them ahead from close range on two minutes and Malouda doubled their lead 10 minutes later. Drogba made it 3-0 on the half-hour mark and Malouda scored the fourth just four minutes from half-time.
Chelsea eased off in the second half but their win means they have a perfect 15 points out of 15 and sit four points clear of Arsenal and United at the top.
City moved back above Tottenham into fourth place thanks to their 2-0 win at Wigan, with Carlos Tevez and Yaya Toure scoring their goals.