Wayne Rooney Hat Trick Video: Manchester United Beats West Ham 4-2
LONDON -- Wayne Rooney's hat trick kept Manchester United on track to win the English Premier League with a 4-2 comeback victory over West Ham on Saturday. Chelsea's hopes of retaining the title were hurt by a 1-1 tie at Stoke.
Chelsea, in third place, needed a 33rd-minute header by Didier Drogba to escape with a draw against a club in the middle of the standings. Rooney's first hat trick in 14 months allowed Man United to bounce back from a 2-0 halftime deficit, boosting their chances for a record 19th English championship.
"We played like champions," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "It was a real championship performance as far as I'm concerned."
Liverpool, which shares the record of 18 titles with United, lost 2-1 against a West Bromwich Albion team led by its former manager, Roy Hodgson. Tottenham's prospects of a second straight top-four finish dimmed with a 0-0 draw at Wigan.
Chelsea has eight games left and is 11 points behind United, which has played one more game. Second-place Arsenal can keep United's lead at five points with victory over Blackburn in Saturday's late match.
Two penalty kicks by Mark Noble put relegation-threatened West Ham ahead 2-0 by the 25th minute at Upton Park.
Rooney curled in a 65th-minute free kick for just his eighth league goal of the season. Eight minutes later, he struck his 100th goal in the top tier of English soccer, creating room on the edge of the penalty area and shooting past goalkeeper Robert Green.
The England striker then scored a 79th-minute penalty kick following Matthew Upson's inadvertent hand ball. Javier Hernandez scored from Ryan Giggs' cross with six minutes left.
"We don't give up, no matter what the score," Rooney said. "We were brilliant all over the park, but even when we haven't been playing well we have been grinding out results."
Also, Aston Villa drew 2-2 at Everton; Newcastle beat Wolverhampton 4-1; and Birmingham defeated Bolton 2-1.
BERLIN (AP) – Borussia Dortmund rallied to beat Hannover 4-1 at home and stay seven points ahead in the Bundesliga.
Hannover slipped to fourth after Arjen Robben's goal was enough for Bayern Munich to reclaim third place with a 1-0 win at home over Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Mohammed Abdellaoue opened the scoring for Hannover in the 57th minute, and Mario Goetze tied it two minutes later.
Lucas Barrios' header gave Florian Fromlowitz no chance in the 64th minute, and he made the game safe in the 73rd. Kevin Grosskreutz rounded off the scoring in the 83rd.
Second-place Bayer Leverkusen won 1-0 at Kaiserslautern and there were 1-1 draws between Werder Bremen and Stuttgart, and Mainz and Freiburg.
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) – Rangers lost at home to Dundee United for the first time in a decade, a 3-2 defeat that cost the defending champions first place in the Scottish Premier League.
Rangers are in second place with 65 points, two fewer than Glasgow rival Celtic. Both clubs have played 28 matches.
Rangers led 2-1 on goals by Nikica Jelavic and Steven Naismith, but Johnny Russell tied it in the 77th minute. Steven Whittaker hit the bar with a header from a Rangers corner kick, and Tangerines striker David Goodwillie raced up the other end to score with a minute to go.