Manchester United FC head into Tuesday's UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg against Real Madrid CF with a 15-point lead atop the Premier League following a 4-0 victory against Norwich City FC.
United, locked at 1-1 with Madrid ahead of next week's Old Trafford return, were characteristically ruthless on home soil against Norwich. Shinji Kagawa, who had only scored twice since moving to United last summer, struck a hat-trick to steer Sir Alex Ferguson's side to a comfortable triumph. Wayne Rooney set the seal with a fantastic fourth. Second-placed Manchester City FC go to Aston Villa FC on Monday.
United's FA Cup quarter-final opponents Chelsea FC, meanwhile, are up to third thanks to a 1-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion, January acquisition Demba Ba scoring the only goal. Tottenham Hotspur FC and Arsenal FC, fourth and fifth respectively, meet at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.
Everton FC trail the Gunners by just two points after they beat Reading FC 3-1, Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas all on the mark. Reading stay second from bottom but are now just three points clear of Queens Park Rangers FC, who themselves are are only four from safety thanks to a 2-1 win at Southampton FC on manager Harry Redknapp's 66th birthday.
Three points behind Everton are Merseyside rivals Liverpool FC, 4-0 victors at Wigan Athletic FC. Stewart Downing opened the scoring after just two minutes before Luis Suárez came to the fore. The Uruguay forward struck his second hat-trick this term to take his league tally for the season to 21, more than any other player in the division.
Elsewhere, League Cup winners Swansea City AFC defeated Newcastle United FC 1-0, West Ham United FC won by the same scoreline at Stoke City FC and Sunderland AFC versus Fulham FC ended 2-2.
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|Last updated: 08/03/2013 17:18 CET|
|1||Manchester United FC||28||71|
|2||Manchester City FC||27||56|
|4||Tottenham Hotspur FC||27||51|
|8||Swansea City AFC||28||40|
|9||West Bromwich Albion FC||28||40|
|11||Stoke City FC||28||33|
|12||West Ham United FC||28||33|
|13||Norwich City FC||28||32|
|15||Newcastle United FC||28||30|
|17||Wigan Athletic FC||28||24|
|18||Aston Villa FC||27||24|
|20||Queens Park Rangers FC||28||20|