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Berbatov's treble helps Man United rout Wigan 5-0

Updated: December 26, 2011, 13:03


Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal against Wigan during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday Dec. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

MANCHESTER, England(AP) Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat trick as Manchester United muscled its way level with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League with a 5-0 rout of Wigan on Monday.

City still holds the advantage on goal difference, but that lead was cut to five by United's second successive five-goal triumph and its neighbor's 0-0 draw at West Bromwich Albion.

Already leading through Park Ji-sung's early goal, United took maximum advantage of Wigan's Conor Sammon being sent off for fouling Michael Carrick.

On his first league start in three months, Berbatov doubled United's lead before halftime, then scored twice more after the break - either side of Antonio Valencia's goal.

Berbatov had Wayne Rooney to thank for his hat trick after the second-half substitute stepped aside to let him take a 78th-minute penalty.

But the victory came at a cost with defender Jonny Evans expected to be out of action for two weeks after he was forced off with a calf injury.

Evans was United's only fit central defender heading into the game and failed to reappear for the second half.

"He has a calf injury and will be out for two weeks,'' United manager Alex Ferguson said. "We have had a nightmare the last few days. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have both been ill. Rio Ferdinand called off yesterday with a back injury and Jonny Evans has come off at halftime. It does put you under pressure.''

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