Norwich, England – Carlos Tevez netted a superb hat trick on Saturday to help Manchester City earn a comfortable 6-1 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road, reducing the deficit at the top of the table to just two points.
Sergio Aguero also contributed in the big win as he bagged a brace for the Citizens, while winger Adam Johnson added a late goal to improve the club's goal differential. Andrew Surman scored the lone goal for the Canaries.
The win places additional pressure on first-place Manchester United to take maximum points from its showdown against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday. A victory for the Red Devils would see them restore their five-point lead.
The deciding factor in the title race could come down to goal differential should City and United finish level on points, and Tevez helped the Citizens make a big statement on that front as he played a starring role in the five- goal triumph.
Tevez opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a swerving strike that beat Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy at his near post. Aguero was able to double that advantage nine minutes later when he received a backheel from Tevez and volleyed an effort into the back of the net from 20 yards.
It looked like the Canaries would be in for a long afternoon, but Surman gave the home side hope six minutes after halftime as he collected the ball following a punch from Joe Hart and hit a screamer from distance to cut the deficit in half.
This was City's day though, and Tevez helped the visitors secure all three points.
The Argentine made the most of a rebound in the 73rd minute, heading home a save from Ruddy into an empty net.
Aguero quickly extended the lead two minutes later, curling a 20-yard shot past Ruddy to make it 4-1.
Tevez completed his hat trick 10 minutes from time when he beat the offside trap, went around Ruddy and slotted home.
Johnson added a sixth for the Citizens deep into second-half stoppage time to bring the team's goal differential to 58 on the season, eight better than Manchester United.
City has won two straight to improve to 77 points on the year, while Norwich remains on 43 points.
Swansea City 3, Blackburn 0
Swansea, Wales - Swansea City snapped a four-game losing skid on Saturday by defeating lowly Blackburn, 3-0, at the Liberty Stadium.
A strong start from the Blackburn defense ultimately fell by the wayside as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Nathan Dyer put the visitors in front just before halftime. An own goal from Scott Dann in the 63rd minuet capped a disappointing outing for Steve Kean's men.
Swansea improves to 42 points on the year, while Blackburn stays in the relegation zone on 28 points.
West Bromwich 1, QPR 0
West Bromwich, England - West Bromwich prevented QPR from climbing further away from the relegation zone as the Baggies claimed a 1-0 win at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
The lone goal of the contest came in the 22nd minute when Graham Dorrans netted his second goal of the campaign to help West Brom secure its second win from its last three outings.
QPR remains just two points clear of danger, sitting fifth from bottom on 31 points.
Sunderland 0, Wolverhampton 0
Sunderland, England - Sunderland and Wolverhampton played to 0-0 stalemate at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, a result that does not do either side any favors.
The draw snapped Wolverhampton's seven-game losing skid, but still leaves the club eight points from safety. Sunderland, ninth on 43 points, does not have much to play for as the Black Cats sit well clear of relegation danger but too far away from a spot in Europe.