LONDON - Manchester United have kept a firm grip on the Premier League title race by sweeping to a 4-0 win at Wigan Athletic on the first day of 2013 to maintain their seven-point lead.
Champions Manchester City remain United's nearest rivals after a 3-0 success at home to Stoke City, while Tottenham Hotspur climbed to third by coming from behind to defeat second-bottom Reading 3-1 at White Hart Lane.
Javier Hernandez had already had a goal ruled out for offside at the DW Stadium when he put United 1-0 up against Wigan by tapping in after Ali Al Habsi saved from Patrice Evra in the 35th minute.
Robin van Persie got off the mark for the new year eight minutes later, collecting a pass from Hernandez and sending Ivan Ramis to the turf with a dummy before curling the ball inside the right-hand post.
Hernandez added a third in the 63rd minute, swivelling to dispatch a half-volley when a van Persie free-kick arrived at his feet, before the Dutchman completed a brace of his own in the 88th minute with his 16th league goal.
City dominated the early stages at home to Stoke, who had gone into the game looking to protect a 10-match unbeaten run.
Pablo Zabeleta broke the deadlock two minutes before half-time, rolling the ball into an empty net after Asmir Begovic touched away James Milner's low cross with his foot.
Sergio Aguero was the creator of City's second in the 56th minute, with a low drive that was parried by Begovic, only for Edin Dzeko to turn the loose ball home.
Aguero scored a 74th-minute penalty after Steven Nzonzi was adjudged to have tripped David Silva, but the Argentine had to leave the fray moments later after appearing to sustain a hamstring injury.
Arsenal were prevented from making ground on the top four after their four-game winning run came to an end in a 1-1 draw at Southampton that left Arsene Wenger's side four points below Chelsea in fifth place.
West Ham United were also on the up, beating Norwich City 2-1.