Berbatov hat-trick sees United join City at summit

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Dimitar Berbatov smashed a hat-trick as Manchester United moved level with Manchester City at the top of the Barclays Premier League after a 5-0 win over 10-man Wigan while their rivals were held at West Brom.

Park Ji-sung gave the Red Devils an early lead when he converted after good work from full-back Patrice Evra.

The struggling visitors saw striker Conor Sammon shown a straight red card by referee Phil Dowd for raising his arm as he backed into Michael Carrick just before the break.

United soon made their advantage count as Berbatov (40) doubled the lead, with the Bulgarian netting again just before the hour.

Winger Antonio Valencia knocked in a fourth with 15 minutes left, before Berbatov completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot (77) after Antolin Alcaraz had fouled Park.

City, meanwhile, were left frustrated at The Hawthorns, where Mario Balotelli had an effort chalked off for offside.

Bottom-club Blackburn earned a 1-1 draw at Liverpool, where stand-in goalkeeper Mark Bunn produced an outstanding display.

Reds midfielder Charlie Adam put the ball into his own net on the stroke of half-time from a corner from Morten Gamst Pedersen to give Steve Kean’s men a shock lead.

However, the home side rallied after the break, and were level through Maxi Rodriguez (53).

Despite plenty of pressure and the return of captain Steven Gerrard from a two-month absence with an ankle infection, Liverpool could not conjure a winner.

Sunderland had to be content with a point against Everton, who equalised with a controversial second-half penalty at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats looked on course to continue their revival under new boss Martin O’Neill when Jack Colback’s 26th-minute effort deflected over goalkeeper Tim Howard off Sylvain Distin to give the 22-year-old midfielder a first senior goal.

However, the visitors were back in the game when World Cup final referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot on 51 minutes after Leon Osman tumbled in the box despite there appearing no contact, Leighton Baines smashing home the resulting penalty.

Bolton’s wretched home form continued as they slumped to an eighth defeat at the Reebok Stadium, where second-half goals from Hatem Ben Arfa (68) and Demba Ba (71) gave Newcastle a first win in seven games.

In the lunchtime kick-off, Clint Dempsey earned Fulham a share of the spoils as the west London derby ended 1-1 at Stamford Bridge to put a further dent in Chelsea’s title hopes.