Liverpool stays top of English Premier League
MANCHESTER: Premier League leader Liverpool was still looking down on its rivals after a 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers during the Boxing Day programme.
Chelsea, which had briefly gone top after an early kick-off victory, remained a point behind in second place after beating basement club West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Reigning champion Manchester United, in its first domestic match since winning the Club World Cup in Japan, stayed seven points off top spot, with two games in hand, after winning 1-0 away to Stoke City.
But it was a frustrating day for the other member of the ''Big Four'' as Arsenal surrendered a two-goal lead in stoppage-time in a 2-2 draw away to Aston Villa, the Midlanders retaining their place amongst the leading quartet.
Earlier, Manchester City moved out of the bottom three with a spectacular 5-1 win over Hull.
City''s victory was an ideal response to fellow strugglers West Ham''s 4-1 win over Portsmouth earlier in the day.
Wigan beat Newcastle 2-1 while Socceroo Tim Cahill scored the winner as Everton defeated Middlesbrough 1-0.
The London derby between Fulham and Tottenham and Sunderland''s game against Blackburn both ended in goalless draws.
Albert Riera volleyed Liverpool into a sixth-minute lead at Anfield when he got on the end of a Steven Gerrard corner.
Liverpool captain Gerrard also played a key role in making it 2-0, the England midfielder''s pass to Robbie Keane the prelude to a powerful shot.
Keane then took his personal tally to three goals in two games when he turned in a Yossi Benayoun cross.
The former Spurs striker had been under pressure but Liverpool assistant manager Sammy Lee said: "We have had no doubts in Robbie''s ability or his work-rate, and what he adds to this club is immense."
First-half goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard sent Chelsea on its way to a comfortable victory.
Manchester United had to wait until seven minutes from time for its goal at the Britannia Stadium.