Manchester United have opened up a nine-point advantage over Chelsea at the Premiership summit, after a comfortable 3-1 derby day victory over Manchester City.
In Saturday's early kick-off United were keen to crank up the pressure on Jose Mourinho and his side and it took just six minutes for them to break the deadlock, when Wayne Rooney calmly dispatched from six yards.
On the stroke of half-time in-form Louis Saha grabbed United's second when he bundled home from close range, after some poor City defending allowed Gabriel Heinze to get in a cross from the left.
Hatem Trabelsi could have made for a frenetic finish when he scored a fine strike for City but with six minutes remaining, Cristiano Ronaldo capitalised on some suspect Richard Dunne defending, to put his side in control at the top of the table.
Fratton Park bore witness to one of the best goals of the season as Portsmouth's Matthew Taylor scored a stunner in his side's 2-0 win over Everton. The ball fell to the in-form midfielder a full 40 yards from goal and with an instinctive volley, Taylor smashed the ball beyond a stunned Tim Howard.
With Portsmouth in the ascendancy, in the 26th minute, Nwankwo Kanu continued his fine season with a superbly controlled volley of his own, from Gary O'Neil's pinpoint delivery.
Tottenham continue to impress at White Hart Lane and they had far too much for a Charlton side that is really struggling after a 5-1 defeat.
Dimitar Berbatov and Teemu Tainio put Spurs in control with two quick-fire goals in the 31st and 33rd minutes, before Michael Dawson gave Charlton hope on the stroke of half-time when putting through his own goal.
In the second period Charlton slumped horribly as goals from Steed Malbranque, his first for Tottenham, Jermain Defoe and Berbatov's second gave the home side a handsome victory.
Newcastle's improvement of late continued at Blackburn as they secured an impressive 3-1 victory at Ewood Park.
Obafemi Martins followed up his goal in midweek with a thumping finish, before an unmarked Steven Taylor put Newcastle in control in the 35th minute.
Blackburn's woes were compounded when Stephane Henchoz was sent-off for a professional foul just before half-time but things did improve after the break, when Morten Gamst Pedersen scored a fine early goal; albeit to no avail.
In the final minute, with Brad Friedel advanced for a Blackburn corner, Martins collected possession on the halfway line before evading two challenges to slot into an empty goal.
Liverpool were too strong for Fulham at Anfield as they eased to 4-0 victory, which saw all the goals come in the second period.
Steven Gerrard opened the scoring when he dispatched the rebound after seeing his own penalty saved, leaving Jamie Carragher and Luis Garcia to add gloss to a polished second 45 minutes. In the final minute, substitute Mark Gonzalez completed the rout with Liverpool's fourth.
Middlesbrough and Wigan played out a 1-1 stalemate at The Riverside as Yakubu Aiyegbeni's second half strike cancelled out Henri Camara's penalty, after Emanuel Pogatetz had felled compatriot Paul Scharner in his own box.
In a game best forgot Watford and Reading played out a 0-0 stalemate that few will, or will want, to remember.
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|Manchester United||3-1||Manchester City|