PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Arsenal into third, Man Utd win again, Sunderland cruise in Tyne-Wear derby

Manchester United have restored their 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-0 victory at Stoke City on Sunday.

Manchester United have restored their 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-0 victory at Stoke City on Sunday.

The 19-time league champions had Michael Carrick open the scoring inside five minutes before Robin van Persie broke a 10-game scoring drought from the penalty spot in the 66th minute to lead United to their 26th win of the campaign which saw them bounce back from Monday’s derby loss to Manchester City.

The victory allowed United to again go 15 points clear of second-placed City who are into the FA Cup final after beating Chelsea 2-1 in the semi-final at Wembley, also on Sunday, whilst the Potters dropped to 16th.

Arsenal are now third after producing a late fightback to beat Norwich City 3-1 thanks to goals from Mikel Arteta, (penalty), Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski following Michael Turner’s 56th minute opener.

Arteta equalised in the 85th minute after Kei Kamara was adjudged to have pulled the shirt of Giroud in the area, which was spotted by assistant on the far side, before Giroud prodded home Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s low cross. The win was complete when Podolski fired home from 18 yards in injury-time to push Arsene Wenger’s men into a Champions League position.

Just one point behind them are Chelsea, who have a game in hand, and North London rivals Tottenham who are still due to take on the Blues.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa missed a golden opportunity to go clear of the drop zone by conceding an own-goal to allow 10th-placed Fulham to force a 1-1 draw, Everton beat QPR 2-0 to heap more misery on the Londoners, bottom-placed Reading held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at home as Andy Carroll levelled for West Ham United in their 1-1 draw at Southampton.

The second Sunday game saw Sunderland produce a 3-0 result over Tyne-Wear rivals Newcastle United, recording their first win at St James’ Park since 2000.

There are a set of midweek games ahead with Arsenal hosting Everton on Tuesday before Man City meet Wigan Athletic on Wednesday, the same night as Man United head to West Ham and Fulham host Chelsea.

2012/13 Barclays Premier League season scores

Arsenal: 3 (Mikel Arteta (p) 85’, Olivier Giroud 88’, Lukas Podolski 90+2’)
Norwich City: 1 (Michael Turner 56’)
Emirates Stadium, London – 60,095

Aston Villa: 1 (Charles N’Zogbia 55’)
Fulham: 1 (Fabian Delph (og) 66’)
Villa Park, Birmingham – 37,011

Everton: 2 (Darron Gibson 40’, Victor Anichebe 56’)
Queens Park Rangers: 0
Goodison Park, Liverpool – 34,876

Reading: 0
Liverpool: 0
Madejski Stadium, Reading – 24,139

Southampton: 1 (Gaston Ramirez 59’)
West Ham United: 1 (Andy Carroll 66’)
St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton – 31,984

Newcastle United: 0
Sunderland: 3 (Stephane Sessegnon 27’, Adam Johnson 74’, David Vaughan 82’)
St James’ Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – 52,355

Stoke City: 0
Manchester United: 2 (Michael Carrick 4’, Robin van Persie (p) 66’)
Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent – 27,191

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