29 Apr 2012

Suarez scores hat trick for Liverpool

8:35 am on 29 April 2012

Luis Suarez warmed up for next week's FA Cup final with a hat-trick in Liverpool's 3-0 win at Norwich City in English football's premier league while Newcastle United were thumped 4-0 at lowly Wigan Athletic.

Third-placed Arsenal, who have taken two points out of a possible nine, drew 1-1 at Stoke City.

Today's seven matches produced 25 goals and the biggest shock came at the DW Stadium where Wigan dented Newcastle's dreams of a Champions League place next season and boosted their own survival hopes with an emphatic victory.

Everton crushed Fulham 4-0 and Swansea City drew 4-4 with relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Newcastle, who had won their previous six games to climb to fourth, came crashing down to earth against Wigan who continued their fight for survival following recent wins over Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.

The result at Wigan threw the race for Champions League places wide open.

Manchester United and Manchester City will take the first two spots while Arsenal look set to finish third.

Arsenal have 66 points, four clear of Newcastle, but it is no longer guaranteed the fourth-placed team will qualify for the Champions League.

If Chelsea, who are sixth, beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final next month and finish outside the top four, they will take the last qualifying spot.

Tottenham Hotspur, who host Blackburn Rovers overnight, are fifth on 59, one point ahead of Chelsea who will entertain Queens Park Rangers.

Eighth-placed Liverpool have already qualified for the Europa League by winning the League Cup and are desperate to finish above city rivals Everton who are seventh.

Aston Villa, embroiled in the relegation dogfight after one win in 14 matches, drew 0-0 at West Bromwich Albion to stay sixth from bottom on 37 points, ahead of Wigan on goal difference.

Villa and Wigan are above Rangers (34 points), Bolton (34), Blackburn Rovers (31) and bottom club Wolves (24) who rallied from 4-1 down to share the points at Swansea.