PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Chelsea hit eight, Man City bridge gap on Man Utd, Arsenal go fourth
The festive season is upon us and that means a hectic schedule for all Premier League clubs in a period which can make and break some campaigns.
Rafael Benitez's men hammered a young Villa line-up with first-half goals from Fernando Torres, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic preceding Frank Lampard, Ramires' double, Oscar and Eden Hazard's goals in the second term.
Patrice Evra opened the scoring for United before Michu went clear on the scoring charts with his 13th of the campaign which saw the Swans end the round play sitting 11th on the table.
United's stronghold on the competition was weakened as reigning champions Manchester City left it late to beat Reading 1-0 courtesy of an injury-time winner from Gareth Barry. City are now just four points behind crosstown rivals United.
Arsenal made it three league wins in a row with a narrow 1-0 triumph over Wigan Athletic thanks to Mikel Arteta's 60th-minute penalty whilst their North London rivals Tottenham dropped to sixth after being held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke City.
The Hammers took the lead through Carlton Cole in the 14th minute before the striker was shown a dubious straight red card for a 67th minute challenge on Leighton Baines whilst Toffees midfielder Darron Gibson was also needlessly sent off in injury-time.
Elsewhere, West Bromwich Albion got the better of Norwich City with a 2-1 come-from-behind result at The Hawthorns which ended the Canaries' 10-game unbeaten streak, Newcastle United edged QPR 1-0, Sunderland beat Southampton 1-0 away and goals from Martin Skrtel, Steven Gerrard, Stewart Downing and Luis Suarez allowed Liverpool a 4-0 home win over Fulham to lift them to eighth on the table.
The next lot of Premier League fixtures takes place on Boxing Day, December 26 before 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season scores
Tottenham: 0 Stoke City: 0 White Hart Lane, London - 35,702