Sports Desk, Feb 12 (EFE).- Raheem Sterling had a hat trick Saturday as Premier League leaders Manchester City crushed Norwich City 4-0, while the other Manchester side dropped points for a second straight match, extending the United winless run to three.
The defending champions restored their 12-point lead edge over Liverpool, though the Reds have two games in hand.
Norwich, who had been enjoying a spell of good form before City’s visit to Carrow Road, are 18th and face a hard slog to avoid relegation.
Largely conceding the ball, the Canaries managed to keep a clean sheet for 31 minutes before Sterling opened the scoring with a fine strike.
City doubled their advantage three minutes into the second half with a goal by Phil Foden, who went on to help set up Sterling’s second of the contest in the 70th minute.
When City were awarded a penalty for a foul in the 89th minute, Sterling stepped to the spot and fired. Norwich goalkeeper Angus Gunn made the spot, but the rebound fell to the England international and he completed the hat trick.
The day’s action began at Old Trafford, where United hosted Southampton.
The Red Devils went ahead in the 21st minute courtesy of Jadon Sancho, who scored on the counter with an assist from Marcus Rashford.
Southampton responded and Stuart Armstrong forced a save from David De Gea before Paul Pogba appeared to make it 2-0 for United in first-half stoppage time, only to see the goal disallowed because Cristiano Ronaldo was offside.
Che Adams equalized for the Saints in the 48th minute.
Both sides created chances for a winner and Ronaldo thought he had it in the 72nd minute until the linesman’s flag went up for an offside – subsequently confirmed by VAR.
Southampton keeper Fraser Forster preserved the point with a great save to deny Harry Maguire.
Ronaldo is now without a goal in six matches, his longest scoring drought since the 2005-2006 season, and United remain outside the top four by virtue of worse goal difference than West Ham.
Southampton remain 10th. EFE