MLS Review: Hat-tricks for Drogba and Giovinco as stars shine
Didier Drogba and reigning MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco each scored hat-tricks for Montreal Impact and Toronto FC respectively.
Chelsea great and former Ivory Coast captain Drogba netted a three-goal haul in Montreal's 5-1 drubbing of second-placed Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference on Saturday.
Drogba - set to face Arsenal in Thursday's All-Star match - was instrumental for Montreal, scoring twice in the first half before completing his second MLS hat-trick seven minutes after the interval.
It took Drogba 19 minutes to break the deadlock from close range and he doubled the lead three minutes prior to half-time courtesy of a rebound.
Drogba then took his season tally to eight league goals with his third of the night in the 52nd minute, guiding the ball into the net after being played in by fellow All-Star Ignacio Piatti.
Chris Pontius pulled a goal back for the Union with 18 minutes remaining, but Piatti and Matteo Mancosu scored late to cap off the rout as the Impact closed to within a point of Philadelphia.
Giovinco was a hat-trick hero for Toronto, who dismantled DC United 4-1.
The Italy international forward had gone eight league matches without a goal but that all changed against DC in Toronto.
Giovinco scored the first of two stunning free-kicks in the 21st minute, only for DC's Jared Jeffrey to equalise three minutes later.
Marky Delgado restored Toronto's lead in the 29th minute before Giovinco curled another set-piece past DC goalkeeper Travis Worra 10 minutes later.
And Giovinco ensured he took home the match ball when he scored in stoppage time for Toronto, who are fifth in the east.
LA Galaxy got the better of defending MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers 2-1 for a sixth league match without defeat thanks to quickfire goals from Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes.
The Galaxy are third behind FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids in the Western Conference.
Colorado - unbeaten in 15 league games - and leaders Dallas played out a 1-1 draw.
Orlando City overturned a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at Columbus Crew, New England Revolution edged lowly Chicago Fire 1-0, while Vancouver Whitecaps and Houston Dynamo played out a scoreless stalemate.