- Premier League round-up
Tevez helps hit Norwich for six, Swans slay Rovers
Carlos Tevez made headlines for all the right reasons on Saturday with a hat-trick in Manchester City's victory over Norwich City, as both QPR and Blackburn squandered opportunities to improve their chances of Premier League survival against West Brom and Swansea respectively.
After scoring his first Manchester City goal in 11 months in midweek, Carlos Tevez notched a hat-trick to lead his side to a 6-1 win over Norwich City in the early kick-off at Carrow Road.
Tevez and compatriot Sergio Aguero both beat John Ruddy from range in the first half to hand City a comfortable lead after 45 minutes, before substitute Andrew Surman volleyed the home side back into the contest shortly after half-time. But the two Argentines then scored again barely two minutes apart in the second half to wrap up all three points, with Tevez rounding Ruddy again late in proceedings to ensure he would take home the match ball.
In the game's dying moments, Adam Johnson then latched onto Aguero's cutback to complete an impressive victory.
City had the first chance of the match as David Silva - restored to the starting lineup - received the ball from Aguero but could only lash straight at John Ruddy from seven yards out. Minutes later it was Tevez making an impact, receiving a yellow card from referee Chris Foy for simulation after going down in the box under limited contact from Ryan Bennett.
Norwich responded quickly, however, bursting forward before nearly breaking the deadlock as Grant Holt's towering header was cleared off the line by Joleon Lescott. No sooner had that last-ditch intervention been made then they were behind, however, as Tevez beat Ruddy at his near post with a wickedly swerving drive from 25 yards.
Ten minutes later it was 2-0, and again Tevez was at the heart of the action. He completed a one-two with Aguero on the edge of the box, and the former Atletico Madrid forward made no mistake in driving the ball past Ruddy.
The second half saw Paul Lambert make changes to his side, with one of them - Surman - on hand to volley into the net after Joe Hart's weak punch clear fell right to his feet. At this point City looked like they might wobble - with Gareth Barry making a vital block on Aaron Wilbraham just moments after John Ruddy had done well to deny Pablo Zabaleta at close range.
As the game entered the final 20 minutes, however, they suddenly shifted up another gear. Tevez grabbed his second after rising above Ryan Bennett to nod home after Ruddy had parried away Yaya Toure's shot, before Aguero completed his brace with a beautifully measured curler from the left-hand side of the box.
While Aguero would not get his hat-trick - hitting the post in injury time - Tevez certainly did, taking advantage of a defensive slip-up (once again from Bennett) to round Ruddy and tap home, in the process keeping City's fragile title hopes alive for at least another week.
Johnson's goal in the last minutes of the contest - beautifully constructed, straightforwardly finished - then only served to add an exclamation point to the action that preceded it.
After losing to QPR in mid-week, Swansea put a major dent in Blackburn's bid for Premier League survival with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium.
Goalscoring midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson was once again at the heart of proceedings, finding the net twice either side of Nathan Dyer's finish to ensure Steve Kean's subdued side went home with nothing as they remain entrenched in the relegation zone.
Paul Robinson made some fine saves early in the first half but could do little to stop Sigurdsson's opener, as the Icelandic midfielder received Joe Allen's clipped pass on the right of the box and rifled a shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner. Just before half-time it was 2-0, as Dyer found himself in space inside the box after good interplay from Scott Sinclair and Danny Graham to beat Robinson to his left from six yards out.
Kean made all three of his available substitutions in the first 15 minutes after half-time in an attempt to provoke some sort of response from his side, but any prospect of a comeback was well and truly crushed after Sigurdsson claimed a second - although replays suggested that the hapless Scott Dann got the last touch as Sigurdsson's shot hit the post and ricocheted across the goalline.
With Blackburn suffering another defeat, QPR missed a great opportunity to open up a bit of a gap between themselves and the bottom three as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat away to West Brom.
Graham Dorrans got the only goal of the game for Roy Hodgson's side midway through the first half; the Scotland international taking the ball on 25 yards out and hitting a sweet strike that crept inside the near post with Paddy Kenny flailing.
The move came following good build-up play from Peter Odemwingie and Jerome Thomas, in a game where neither side had a problem creating chances throughout the 90 minutes. Further goals would not be forthcoming, however, as the Baggies held on.
In the other game of the day, Sunderland were held to a 0-0 draw by Wolves in a result that nevertheless does nothing to lift the long-term survival prospects of Terry Connor's beleaguered side.
Sylvain Ebanks-Blake and Steven Fletcher were both guilty of squandering good chances for the visitors, although they perhaps had Wayne Hennessey to thank for a number of good saves from Sebastian Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon that kept them on level terms.
The result means Wolves are now eight points from safety with just 12 still available to them.