A Wayne Rooney hat-trick piled on the agony for Portsmouth as Avram Grant suffered defeat in his first match in charge of the Barclays Premier League's rock-bottom club.
With Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson watching from the stands in serving the first of a two-match touchline ban, his side are back within two points of Chelsea at the top of the table after a 4-1 win at Fratton Park.
It was also a historic victory, United's 2,000th in the league, with Rooney on target in the 25th, 48th and 54th minutes, with the first and the third from the penalty spot.
The two second-half strikes in six minutes killed off Pompey, who had deservedly headed into the interval level after Kevin-Prince Boateng had equalised with another spot-kick. The coup de grace came from the evergreen Ryan Giggs who celebrated his 36th birthday tomorrow by scoring his 100th Premier League goal.
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