(CNN) -- Wayne Rooney scored four times as he produced a magical performance to send Manchester United top of the English Premier League with a 4-0 win over Hull City on Saturday.
The England international opened the scoring at Old Trafford after just seven minutes when he slotted in a rebound after Paul Scholes' initial shot was beaten away by Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill.
Alex Ferguson's side did not have it all their own way for the whole of the match though and were frustrated for long periods by Hull.
Hull substitute Kamel Ghilas almost got the equalizer after halftime when he latched on to Paul McShane's cross, only to see his shot bobble agonizingly wide of the far post while veteran midfielder Nicky Barmby also went close.
The Red Devils eventually grabbed a second in the 82nd minute after Nani's free-kick was fumbled on to the bar by Myhill but United worked the ball to Rooney who smashed in a low drive to double the home side's advantage.
With no way back from the two-goal deficient Phil Brown's team capitulated and Rooney was able to complete his hat-trick when he headed home a cross from Portugal winger Nani four minutes later.
Rooney capped off a memorable afternoon as he notched up a fourth in the third minute of added time when he smashed a shot into the corner of the net.
The result saw United leapfrog Chelsea and Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table as they went two points clear at the summit, although both their rivals have games in hand.
After the match United boss Ferguson paid tribute to Rooney's magnificent performance and told Sky Sports: "Wayne is in great goalscoring form and his finishing was brilliant today. His performance was the highlight of the game.
"Overall though we were poor at times at struggled to break down Hull. They are fighting for their lives at the moment and made it tough for us before Wayne got his second goal."