MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – Luis Suarez’s stunning quadruple for Liverpool capped a goal-laden night in the Premier League that saw the top four all win, but Manchester United lose 1-0 to Everton to be cut adrift in the title race.
Arsenal preserved its four-point lead as Nicklas Bendtner capitalized on a rare start to score in a 2-0 win over Hull, while Eden Hazard capped a brilliant performance with two goals in Chelsea’s wild 4-3 victory at Sunderland.
Manchester City stayed third by beating West Bromwich Albion 3-2, mainly thanks to Yaya Toure’s brace, but the star of the night was Suarez, whose four goals in a 5-1 thrashing of Norwich included a 45-meter looping volley as part of a first-half hat trick.
“Just the fear he puts in defenders — the quality of his finishing is phenomenal,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said of the Uruguay striker, who has now scored 11 goals in his last four games against Norwich.
While the front-runners were all winning, United slumped to a fourth defeat of a turbulent first season in charge for David Moyes, whose old club of 11 years claimed a first win at Old Trafford since 1992 thanks to Bryan Oviedo’s 86th-minute goal.
“It’s a big catch-up for us now,” said Moyes, whose team dropped to ninth place in the stuttering defense of its title — 12 points behind Arsenal after 14 games.
Tottenham ruined Rene Meulensteen’s first match in charge of Fulham by winning 2-1 at Craven Cottage, giving Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas a first win in five games and some much-needed breathing space.
Swansea ended Newcastle’s four-match winning run with a 3-0 victory and Aston Villa upset Southampton 3-2 to take the number of goals in the night’s nine matches to 32. Stoke was held 0-0 by Cardiff.
Suarez became the first player to score three hat tricks against the same team in the Premier League, beginning his virtuoso performance in the 15th minute with a dipping volley from long range.
An instinctive second was followed by a classy third, when he turned this way and that before smashing a rising shot into the corner from the edge of the area. He finished off his one-man show with a curling free kick and added an assist for good measure, setting up Raheem Sterling for Liverpool’s fifth.
Despite missing Liverpool’s first five games of the campaign to complete a ban for biting carried over from last season, Suarez is now the Premier League’s top scorer with 13 goals in nine matches.
“I wish Suarez would just leave us alone!! Big bully!” Norwich midfielder Anthony Pilkington tweeted.
Arsenal may not have racked up the goals but the win was just as routine against a team that shocked Liverpool three days earlier, keeping Arsene Wenger’s side out in front.