Premier League leaders Liverpool were still looking down on their rivals after a 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers during today's Boxing Day programme.

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.

Chelsea, who 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.

First-half goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard sent Chelsea on their way to a comfortable victory. It was the Ivorian's second goal of the season and his first in the Barclays Premier League this term.

Reigning champions Manchester United, in their first domestic match since winning the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, stayed seven points off top spot, with two games in hand, after winning 1-0 away to Stoke City.

United had to wait until seven minutes from time for their goal at the Britannia Stadium. It was only after Stoke right-back Andy Wilkinson was sent off for a second bookable offence that Carlos Tevez scored for United. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said victory left his side well-placed to maintain their title-bid.

Stoke City 0 - 1 Manchester United Highlight

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.

Villa hit the woodwork three times in the first half only for Arsenal to open the scoring through Brazil midfielder Denilson in the day's late kick-off. The visitors were 2-0 up at Villa Park nine minutes after half-time when a brilliant exchange of passes between Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Eboue ended with the France midfielder beating Brad Friedel. Villa, however, grabbed a lifeline when England midfielder Gareth Barry scored a 65th minute penalty after Gabriel Agbonlahor was brought down by William Gallas. Arsenal, not for the first time this season, could not see out the game with Villa's Zat Knight scoring in stoppage time.

Aston Villa 2 - 2 Arsenal Highlight

Earlier, Manchester City moved out of the bottom three with a spectacular 5-1 win over Hull City. Two-goals apiece from Felipe Caicedo and Robinho at Eastlands helped Manchester City end a run of six games without a win in all competitions. Caicedo put City ahead in the 15th minute when he turned in Stephen Ireland's cross. The Ecuadorian had his and City's second 12 minutes later, with Ireland again the provider. Ireland also laid on City's third, releasing Robinho. The Brazil forward made it 4-0 in the 36th minute with a picture-book goal after a superb cross from Shaun Wright-Phillips. Craig Fagan pulled one back for Hull before Ireland got the goal his play deserved eight minutes from time.

Full results;
Stoke City 0 - 1 Manchester United
Chelsea 2 - 0 West Bromwich Albion
Portsmouth 1 - 4 West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 0 Fulham
Liverpool 3 - 0 Bolton Wanderers
Manchester City 5 - 1 Hull City
Middlesbrough 0 - 1 Everton
Sunderland 0 - 0 Blackburn Rovers
Wigan Athletic 2 - 1 Newcastle United
Aston Villa 2 - 2 Arsenal


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