Manchester United FC's 4-3 victory away to Reading FC, in what was the Premier League's game of the day, moved Sir Alex Ferguson's team three points clear at the top of the table.
With champions Manchester City FC being held by Everton FC, United took advantage by winning a remarkable contest, with all the scoring done before half-time at the Madejski Stadium. United trailed twice early on, but strikes from Anderson, two-goal Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie outweighed efforts from Hal Robson-Kanu, Adam Le Fondre and Sean Morrison.
Manchester City had briefly replaced their neighbours at the summit, albeit on goal difference, though their 1-1 draw with Everton was just the second time they had dropped points at home this season. Both goals came in the first half, Carlos Tévez's penalty cancelling out Marouane Fellaini's opener for the sixth-placed visitors.
The most notable result elsewhere came at Arsenal FC, who conceded twice in the last three minutes – Michu's double making it ten goals in 15 top-flight outings for the Spaniard – to lose 2-0 to Swansea City AFC. If that result left Arsenal in tenth position, their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur FC climbed to fourth with a 3-0 success at Fulham FC. Jermain Defoe scored two, Sandro the other.
The day's other capital derby was a triumph for West Ham United FC, who overcame a half-time deficit to beat third-placed Chelsea FC 3-1 at Upton Park.
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|Last updated: 18/12/2012 16:08 CET|
Pérez Cuesta 88, 90+1
Tévez 43 (P)
|Venue: West Bromwich|
Juan Mata 13
|1||Manchester United FC||15||36|
|2||Manchester City FC||15||33|
|4||Tottenham Hotspur FC||15||26|
|5||West Bromwich Albion FC||15||26|
|7||Swansea City AFC||15||23|
|8||West Ham United FC||15||22|
|9||Stoke City FC||15||22|
|13||Norwich City FC||14||16|
|14||Newcastle United FC||14||14|
|15||Wigan Athletic FC||14||14|
|16||Aston Villa FC||15||14|
|20||Queens Park Rangers FC||15||6|