x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Hat-trick from United's Berbatov piles on agony for Birmingham

Premier League reports: The goalkeeper Ben Foster has a miserable night as Manchester march on unbeaten in 22 games, and more

United's Dimitar Berbatov , second left, celebrates with teammate Ryan Giggs and Darren Gibson, far left, after scoring his third goal against Birmingham.
United's Dimitar Berbatov , second left, celebrates with teammate Ryan Giggs and Darren Gibson, far left, after scoring his third goal against Birmingham.

MANCHESTER // Dimitar Berbatov scored his third hat trick of the season as Manchester United routed a struggling Birmingham 5-0 to remain unbeaten in the Premier League after 22 games.

Berbatov gave United the lead after just two minutes with a close-range header and added the second in the 31st. He then combined with Wayne Rooney to set up Ryan Giggs for the third just before the break, before completing his hat trick by sliding home Giggs' cross in the 53rd.

Nani completed the rout with a long-range effort in the 76th. United tops the table with 48 points.

Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster had a miserable night as Berbatov opened the scoring with an easy header after Giggs swung over a corner and John O'Shea's flicked-on header was met by the Bulgarian from barely two yards out.

Foster then almost gifted United a second goal moments later.

The England goalkeeper's weak kick was scuffed straight into Berbatov's path, and after combining with Rooney the in-form striker was denied as Foster redeemed himself with a save.

United kept up the pressure and Birmingham continued to gift possession, as Roger Johnson's error saw Rooney collect the loose ball before feeding Berbatov, who beat Foster with a low shot from 12 yards out.

Berbatov, who scored five goals against Blackburn at Old Trafford earlier this season, then came close to adding to his tally when his 20-yard shot flew inches wide.

But Giggs wouldn't be denied in added time when he met Rooney's cross and fired into the roof of the net.

Rooney should have scored when he met Nani's cross just moments after the restart, but missed an easy header. Instead it was Berbatov who added the fourth, with Giggs as the provider as his cross was stabbed home by the in-form striker off the underside of the crossbar.

Birmingham's misery was compounded when Fahey somehow missed from point-blank range.

And Nani only piled on the woe when he struck home in the 76th from just outside the box as Manchester United sent out another message of intent to their title rivals.

Lennon saves Tottenham the blushes

Aaron Lennon scored an injury-time equaliser Saturday to give Tottenham a 1-1 draw at Newcastle.

The England winger fired a shot into the bottom corner in the first minute of added time after sustained pressure by Tottenham.

It was the second week in a row that Newcastle allowed an injury-time equalizer, after dropping points against Sunderland the previous weekend.

Newcastle looked to have won it when defender Fabricio Coloccini fired home a stunning 59th-minute opener and substitute Nile Ranger could have killed the game off before Lennon's late intervention.

Fulham win to move away from drop zone

The United States midfielder Clint Dempsey scored either side of halftime Saturday to lead Fulham to a 2-0 win over 10-man Stoke, only the team's fourth home victory this season.

Dempsey gave the hosts the lead in the 33rd minute, sliding the ball home from a cross by Andy Johnson after Damien Duff had pounced on a loose ball.

The Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross was sent off in the 55th minute for fouling Dempsey in the box, and the US international stepped up to slot the spot kick home for his ninth goal of the season and eighth in the league.

Fulham moved to 26 points, four above the drop zone. Stoke stayed on 30 points.

Everton holds West Ham to Grant's added frustration

Marouane Fellaini scored an injury-time equaliser as Everton twice came from behind to draw struggling West Ham 2-2 and deny the visitors a much-needed win.

The Hammers and their beleaguered manager Avram Grant seemed on course for victory at Goodison Park as Frederic Piquionne headed them in front for the second time six minutes from time.

But Piquionne was sent off for celebrating with fans and the Hammers, who remain bottom of the Barclays Premier League, were denied as Fellaini struck.

Jonathan Spector scored his first Premier League goal to put West Ham ahead in the 26th minute, but Everton pulled level in the 77th as substitute Diniyar Bilyaletdinov beat goalkeeper Robert Green with a fierce drive.