Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates his second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park on December 26, 2012 in Birmingham, England.
Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates his second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park on December 26, 2012 in Birmingham, England. Michael Regan / Getty Images

Bale scores hat-trick to ensure win against Aston Villa

TOTTENHAM winger Gareth Bale's first Premier League hat-trick ensured Aston Villa fans had nothing to cheer about at Villa Park on Thursday.

Three days after Villa lost 8-0 at Chelsea, the heaviest defeat in its history, Bale's second-half treble heaped more misery on the home fans as the Londoners cruised to a 4-0 win.

The defeat meant Villa equalled the most goals conceded in back-to-back matches in the League, sharing the dubious distinction with Ipswich, Manchester City, West Ham and Wigan.

Top-of-the-ladder Manchester United fell behind three times against Newcastle at Old Trafford - yet somehow walked away with three points after Javier Hernandez scored a late winner in the 4-3 win.

With second-placed Manchester City losing 1-0 at Sunderland, United's dramatic win moved it seven points clear of City at the top. Ironically, former City player Adam Johnson was the Sunderland scorer.

Chelsea moved to within four points of City after Juan Mata's goal secured a 1-0 win at Norwich.

Elsewhere, the West Bromwich Albion team bus got caught up in Boxing Day sales traffic in London en route to play Queens Park Rangers and the game started almost 15 minutes late.

QPR could not take advantage though and is now bottom after the visitors won 2-1.

Reading moved off the bottom after a 0-0 draw at home to Swansea, Everton stretched its unbeaten run to a seventh game after beating Wigan 2-1, Southampton drew 1-1 at Fulham, while Liverpool lost 3-1 at Stoke.



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