Manchester United celebrated the 25th anniversary of Sir Alex Ferguson’s appointment with three points and a clean sheet as they dismissed Sunderland 1-0 at Old Trafford.
An own goal for ex-United defender Wes Brown on the stroke of half-time, heading a Nani corner past Kieren Westwood to give his old boss the win which lifted them back into second place.
Elsewhere Chelsea got back to winning ways after suffering two consecutive defeats, they won 1-0 at Blackburn thanks to Frank Lampard’s second-half goal.
In a game of wasted chances it was left to the experience of Lampard to seal it with a diving header from Branislav Ivanovic’s cross, but Yakubu, Grant Hanley, Fernando Torres and Florent Malouda will all regret not making the most of their opportunities.
Arsenal continued their winning run with a convincing 3-0 victory against West Brom. The Gunners have now tasted defeat just once in eleven games and move level with Spurs and Liverpool just three points outside the top four.
Goals from Robin Van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta gave Arsene Wenger’s side the win.
Liverpool are another side to continue their unbeaten run, but they also highlighted their inability to win games against sides they should see off with comfort, drawing 0-0 with Swansea.
Michel Vorm was the hero for Swansea as he pulled off a late wonder save to deny Glen Johnson from long range, while Andy Carroll continued to frustrate with missed chances, also hitting the woodwork.
In the day’s other game, Aston Villa moved up to 8th with a hard-fought 3-2 win against Norwich. The Canaries took the lead through Anthony Pilkington before Darren Bent (2) and Gabriel Agbonlahor fought back to put Villa 3-1 up.
Steve Morison struck late on to give Norwich hope of a comeback but they drop one place in the table after a fourth defeat of the season.