PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Man Utd still in command over Man City as Chelsea return to form

Manchester United have maintained their seven-point lead over neighbours Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League table.

A 2-1 home win over Liverpool on Sunday allowed the Red Devils to temporarily move 10 points clear before City pegged them back with their first win away at Arsenal since 1975.

At Old Trafford, Robin van Persie scored his 16th goal of the domestic season in the 19th minute before Nemanja Vidic added a second ten minutes into the second half prior to winter signing Daniel Sturridge scoring his first league goal for the fast-finishing Reds.

At the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners lost defender Laurent Koscielny to an early red card before James Milner and Edin Dzeko put City two goals ahead but City also finished the game with ten men with Vincent Kompany copping a questionable sending off with 15 minutes remaining.

On Saturday, Chelsea returned to the winners list with a 4-0 victory at Stoke City which came courtesy of a pair of own-goals from Jon Walters as they replaced Tottenham in third who drew 0-0 at QPR.

Everton retained fifth spot with a 1-1 draw at home against Swansea City as Southampton stretched their unbeaten streak to four matches with a 1-0 victory to heap more misery on 18th-placed Aston Villa.

Reading moved two points off the bottom with a 3-2 triumph at home over West Bromwich Albion despite conceding twice to Romelu Lukaku before scoring three times in the final eight minutes to complete an amazing comeback.

Sunderland made it three wins from their past five with a 3-0 result at home over West Ham United whilst Norwich City and Newcastle United played out a third 0-0 draw of the weekend.

United’s van Persie tops the scoring charts with 16 goals, ahead of Liverpool’s Luis Suarez (15), Chelsea signing Demba Ba and Swansea’s Michu (both 13.)

In the assists column, Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard and Chelsea ace Juan Mata lead the way on eight with United striker Wayne Rooney behind them on seven whilst van Persie, Arsenal pair Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz all sit on six.

2012/13 Barclays Premier League season scores

Queens Park Rangers: 0
Tottenham: 0
Loftus Road, London – 18,018

Aston Villa: 0
Southampton: 1 (Rickie Lambert (p) 34’)
Villa Park, Birmingham – 32,500

Everton: 0
Swansea City: 0
Goodison Park, Liverpool – 35,782

Fulham: 1 (Giorgos Karagounis 22’)
Wigan Athletic: 1 (Franco Di Santo 71’)
Craven Cottage, London – 25,442

Norwich City: 0
Newcastle United: 0
Carrow Road, Norwich – 26,752

Reading: 3 (Jimmy Kebe 82’, Adam Le Fondre (p) 88’, Pavel Pogrebnyak 90’)
West Bromwich Albion: 2 (Romelu Lukaku 19’/69’)
Madejski Stadium, Reading – 23,495

Stoke City: 0
Chelsea: 4 (Jonathan Walters (og) 45+2’/(og) 62’, Frank Lampard (p) 65’, Eden Hazard 73’)
Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent – 27,348

Sunderland: 3 (Sebastian Larsson 12’, Adam Johnson 47’, James McClean 74’)
West Ham United: 0
Stadium of Light, Sunderland – 39,918

Manchester United: 2 (Robin van Persie 19’, Nemanja Vidic 54’)
Liverpool: 1 (Daniel Sturridge 57’)
Old Trafford, Manchester – 75,501

Arsenal: 0 (red card: Laurent Koscielny 10’)
Manchester City: 2 (James Milner 21’, Edin Dzeko 32’, red card: Vincent Kompany 75’)
Emirates Stadium, London – 60,107

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