PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Festive season ends with Man Utd clear on top

The hectic Christmas period of the 2012/13 Premier League season has seen Manchester United seven points clear on top of the table.

The Red Devils hammered Wigan Athletic 4-0 at the DW Stadium on New Years’ Day with both Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez netting doubles with the Dutchman leading the scoring charts on 16 goals.

Reigning champions Manchester City remained seven points behind their crosstown rivals courtesy of a 3-0 home triumph over Stoke City thanks to goals from Pablo Zabaleta, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero whilst Tottenham moved to third following their 3-1 triumph over Reading.

Chelsea relinquished that position by losing 1-0 at home to bottom-of-the-table QPR on Wednesday night as Everton jumped into fifth by coming from behind to edge Newcastle United 2-1.

Sixth spot goes to Arsenal who were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton as Liverpool moved up to eighth thanks to a Luis Suarez-inspired 3-0 home salute over Sunderland.

Elsewhere to kick off 2013, Fulham defeated West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at The Hawthorns, Danny Graham netted a late equaliser as Swansea City drew 2-2 with Aston Villa and West Ham United defeated Norwich City 2-1 at home.

2012/13 Barclays Premier League season scores

West Bromwich Albion: 1 (Romelu Lukaku 49’)
Fulham: 2 (Dimitar Berbatov 39’, Alex Kacaniklic 58’)
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich – 25,436

Manchester City: 3 (Pablo Zabaleta 43’, Edin Dzeko 56’, Sergio Aguero (p) 74’)
Stoke City: 0
Etihad Stadium, Manchester – 47,192

Swansea City: 2 (Wayne Routledge 9’, Danny Graham 90+4’)
Aston Villa: 2 (Andreas Weimann 44’, Christian Benteke (p) 84’)
Liberty Stadium, Swansea – 20,406

Tottenham: 3 (Michael Dawson 10’, Emmanuel Adebayor 51’, Clint Dempsey 79’)
Reading: 1 (Pavel Pogrebnyak 4’)
White Hart Lane, London – 36,180

West Ham United: 2 (Mark Noble (p) 3’, Joey O’Brien 26’)
Norwich City: 1 (Russell Martin 90’)
Upton Park, London – 35,005

Wigan Athletic: 0
Manchester United: 4 (Javier Hernandez 36’/64’, Robin van Persie 43’/88’)
DW Stadium, Wigan – 20,342

Southampton: 1 (Gaston Ramirez 35’)
Arsenal: 1 (Guilherme Do Prado (og) 41’)
St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton – 31,743

Chelsea: 0
QPR: 1 (Shaun Wright-Phillips 78’)
Stamford Bridge, London – 41,634

Liverpool: 3 (Raheem Sterling 19’, Luis Suarez 26’/53’)
Sunderland: 0
Anfield, Liverpool – 44,228

Newcastle United: 1 (Papiss Cisse 2’)
Everton: 2 (Leighton Baines 434’, Victor Anichebe 60’)
Sports Direct Arena, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – 49,391

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