Man United win seven-goal thriller against Newcastle
Manchester United trailed three times before a last-gasp goal from Javier Hernandez sealed a rip-roaring 4-3 victory over Newcastle United that opened a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League on Wednesday.
Image: Manchester United's Javier Hernandez (L) scores past Newcastle United's Tim Krul at Old Trafford
Photographs: REUTERS/Phil Noble
'It's the same story for us at Sunderland every year'
Manchester City were undone by former winger Adam Johnson as he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for Sunderland which left the champions second in the table, four points ahead of Chelsea.
Manchester City's defeat at Sunderland was their second in a row at the Stadium of Light.
"It's the same story for us at Sunderland every year, we are not going to come here next season," said manager Roberto Mancini with his tongue firmly in his cheek.
"It's important that our strikers start scoring more goals, sometimes we take one touch too many."
Image: Sunderland's Adam Johnson (2nd R) celebrates scoring against Manchester City with teammates
Photographs: REUTERS/Nigel Roddis
Juan Mata struck from 20 metres
Chelsea beat Norwich City 1-0 thanks to a 20-metre strike from Juan Mata.
Image: Chelsea's Juan Mata celebrates scoring against Norwich City at Carrow Road
Photographs: REUTERS/Toby Melville
Gareth Bale grabbed his first Premier League hat-trick
Tottenham Hotspur moved up to fourth after Gareth Bale grabbed his first Premier League hat-trick in a 4-0 rout at Aston Villa who were also thrashed 8-0 at Chelsea on Sunday.
In the race for fourth position, Everton briefly nudged ahead on 33 points with a 2-1 win over struggling Wigan Athletic at Goodison Park where home defender Phil Neville made his 500th league appearance.
Tottenham replied in a later kickoff, piling on the Christmas gloom for Villa.
Sixth-placed West Bromwich Albion joined Everton and Tottenham on 33 points with a 2-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers in a match delayed after the bus carrying the visiting team arrived late.
Image: Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale celebrates his goal against Aston Villa in Birmingham
Photographs: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
Stoke City moved up to eighth
Jonathan Walters scored twice as Stoke City moved up to eighth with a 3-1 home victory over Liverpool in the late match despite Steven Gerrard scoring for the visitors from the penalty spot after one minute.
Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers dropped back to the bottom of the table with only 10 points, Reading jumping above them on goal difference with a 0-0 draw at home to Swansea City.
Fulham drew 1-1 with Southampton who remain just above the bottom three.
With the season at the halfway point Manchester United, who have already racked up 48 goals to compensate for some unusually leaky defending, have 46 points with Manchester City on 39.
Image: Stoke City's Kenwyne Jones (R) celebrates after scoring during their match against Liverpool at The Britannia stadium
Photographs: REUTERS/Darren Staples