Dimitar Berbatov scored both goals on Sunday as Manchester United emerged from the grip of winter to beat Sunderland 2-0 at Old Trafford and consolidate top spot in the Premier League.
The Bulgarian headed the leaders in front after five minutes and struck again with a deflected shot after the break as unbeaten United moved to 37 points from 17 games at the start of a hectic holiday programme.
Manchester City are second with 35 points from 19 games after former United striker Carlos Tevez scored twice in a 3-1 victory at Newcastle United although Arsenal can move back above them with victory over fourth-placed Chelsea on Monday.
Bolton Wanderers are up to fifth thanks to a 2-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion. Stoke City are eighth after a 2-0 victory at Blackburn Rovers.
Carlton Cole was another striker in form, grabbing two goals for West Ham United as they won 3-1 at Fulham to climb off the bottom of the table, above Wolverhampton Wanderers who were beaten 2-1 at home by fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic.
Two of the holiday fixtures succumbed to the freezing weather conditions that have played havoc with the British sporting calendar in the past fortnight.
Blackpool's home game with Liverpool was postponed after their Bloomfield Road pitch, the only one in the top flight without undersoil heating, failed an inspection. It was the club's third consecutive home game to fall foul of the weather.
Everton's home match against Birmingham City was called off after Goodison Park's water pipes burst.