PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: All square between Arsenal and Liverpool as Man Utd go seven points clear

Manchester United have restored their seven-point lead on crosstown rivals Manchester City courtesy of a hard-fought come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Southampton tonight.

The Saints took a third-minute when Jay Rodriguez pounced on a defensive error from David de Gea and Michael Carrick but United were able to rally five minutes later when Wayne Rooney levelled with his 100th goal at Old Trafford, racing onto a Shinji Kagawa through-ball.

Rooney then went past United legend George Best on 138 league goals scored for the club when he added a second in the 27th minute from close range from Patrice Evra’s header before a nervy end eventually saw last season’s runners-up make the most of City’s slip-up at QPR last night to extend the gap to two-and-a-half wins at the summit of the table.

Arsenal overcame a tardy start to force a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium after the Reds had taken a two-goal lead.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Aaron Ramsey failed to clear before Jordan Henderson added a second on the hour-mark with a jinking run but Olivier Giroud’s header from a free-kick five minutes later and Theo Walcott’s well-struck effort from Giroud’s lay-off allowed the Gunners to record a point when all seemingly looked lost.

Reading produced an amazing fightback to record a 2-2 draw with Chelsea after the Blues had led by two goals with less than four minutes of regular time remaining.

Juan Mata gave Chelsea the advantage on the stroke of half-time when he slotted home Fernando Torres’ pass before Frank Lampard headed home after the hour-mark to make it 2-0.

But the Royals did not lay down as Adam Le Fondre gave them a glimmer of hope in the 87th minute, stroking home Hope Akpan’s through-ball before the same duo combined deep into injury-time with Le Fondre levelling the game much to the delight of the Madejski Stadium faithful.

Elsewhere, Leighton Baines scored a double as Everton saw off West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at Goodison Park, Fulham eventually eased past London rivals West Ham United 3-1 at home and Gareth Bale scored a sublime equaliser as Tottenham drew 1-1 at Norwich City.

2012/13 Barclays Premier League season scores

Arsenal: 2 (Olivier Giroud 65’, Theo Walcott 67’)
Liverpool: 2 (Luis Suarez 5’, Jordan Henderson 60’)
Emirates Stadium, London – 60,089

Everton: 2 (Leighton Baines 29/(p) 45+2’)
West Bromwich Albion: 1 (Shane Long 65’)
Goodison Park, Liverpool – 31,376

Norwich City: 1 (Wesley Hoolahan 32’)
Tottenham: 1 (Gareth Bale 80’)
Carrow Road, Norwich – 26,818

Fulham: 3 (Dimitar Berbatov 10’, Hugo Rodallega 49’, Joey O’Brien (og) 90+1’)
West Ham United: 1 (Kevin Nolan 48’)
Craven Cottage, London – 24,791

Manchester United: 2 (Wayne Rooney 8’/27’)
Southampton: 1 (Jay Rodriguez 3’)
Old Trafford, Manchester – 75,600

Reading: 2 (Adam Le Fondre 87’/90+5’)
Chelsea: 2 (Juan Mata 45+1’, Frank Lampard 66’)
Madejski Stadium, Reading – 24,097

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