Skip to main content

Man Utd ruin Grant's Portsmouth bow

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney scores his second goal in the 4-1 win at Portsmouth.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney scores his second goal in the 4-1 win at Portsmouth.
  • Manchester United beat Portsmouth to 4-1 home loss in Avram Grant's first match in charge
  • Wayne Rooney scores hat-trick against the bottom club as United close on Chelsea
  • Tottenham move up to third after coming from behind to draw 1-1 at Aston Villa
  • Manchester City held 1-1 at home by Hull for record seventh successive draw

(CNN) -- Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United condemned bottom club Portsmouth to a 4-1 home defeat in Avram Grant's first match in charge, which featured three penalties.

Second-placed United moved to within two points of English Premier League leaders Chelsea, who face London rivals Arsenal on Sunday.

Grant's last match as manager was Chelsea's penalty shootout defeat by United in the 2008 Champions League final, and spotkicks were again rife at Fratton Park on Saturday.

United started the match with manager Alex Ferguson in the director's box as he began his two-match touchline ban, but the visitors went ahead on the 25th minute despite the pouring rain as Rooney netted a penalty after being clumsily challenged from behind by Michael Brown.

But Portsmouth hit back seven minutes later with another spotkick, this one more debatable as Nemanja Vidic was ruled to have tugged the shirt of Frederic Piquionne.

Kevin-Prince Boateng made up for his miss in the defeat against Stoke last weekend by beating goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak, standing in for the injured Edwin Van der Sar.

United went ahead again three minutes after halftime as England striker Rooney scored his 10th goal this season after being set free by veteran Ryan Giggs.

He netted his third goal in the 54th minute after Piquionne was penalized for fouling Giggs, sending Asmir Begovic -- deputizing for the injured David James -- the wrong way.

Giggs, who turns 36 on Sunday, netted with a free-kick three minutes from full-time for the fourth goal and his 100th in the Premier League, while John Utaka's spectacular scissors-kick hit the crossbar with a at the other end.

Tottenham moved up to third place above Arsenal -- who have played two fewer games after coming from behind to draw 1-1 at Aston Villa, who remained in fifth.

England striker Gabriel Agbonlahor put Villa ahead in the ninth minute with his eighth goal of the season after Carlos Cuellar's header was blocked on the line.

But Tottenham hit back as Jermain Defoe -- who scored five goals in last weekend's 9-1 thrashing of Wigan -- had an effort ruled out for handball, and then defender Michael Dawson rescued a point in the 78th minute with a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Big-spending Manchester City were held yet again, extending their record to seven successive league draws after visiting Hull snatched a late equalizer.

Sixth-placed City welcomed back Brazil star Robinho after three months out injured, and took the lead on the stroke of halftime when defender Anthony Gardner headed a 20-yard shot from Shaun Wright-Phillips into the net.

After the restart, City defender Joleon Lescott cleared Richard Garcia's shot off the line with goalkeeper Shay Given beaten but that was the closest Hull came until the 81st minute when Jimmy Bullard netted from the spot after referee Lee Probert awarded a controversial penalty -- reports were unclear if it was for handball by Lescott or a foul by Kolo Toure on Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.

A jubilant Bullard then mimicked the infamous on-pitch halftime telling-off manager Phil Brown had given Hull after last season's thrashing at City which sparked a dismal run of results.

Eight-placed Sunderland crashed back to earth following the 1-0 win over Arsenal, losing 1-0 at manager Steve Bruce's former club Wigan -- who bounced back from debacle at Tottenham thanks to Hugo Rodallega's sixth league goal this season in the 76th minute.

West Ham moved out of the bottom three with a 5-3 victory at home to 10-man Burnley, but had to hold on after taking a 4-0 lead after only 51 minutes through Jack Collison, Junior Stanislas, a Carlton Cole penalty and Guillermo Franco's header.

Substitute Luis Jimenez made it 5-0 with another penalty, then Steven Fletcher's late double gave Burnley some consolation before Steven Caldwell was sent off in time added on before Chris Eagles then netted a third.

Stoke joined Sunderland on 20 points from 14 matches after drawing 0-0 at Blackburn, while Fulham came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at Bolton, who stayed in the bottom three.