Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said it was critical the Premiership leaders did not become distracted by title talk after a 3-1 win against Aston Villa saw them stay six points clear at the top of the table.
Reigning champions Chelsea remained second with a 4-0 home victory over Wigan to end a modest run of three successive league draws but Ferguson, whose side now travel to fourth-place Arsenal, said it was vital United kept their eye on the task in hand.
“We want to go to Arsenal and get the result we want. That is the only thing we can think about,” Ferguson said.
First-half goals from Park Ji-Sung, Michael Carrick and Cristiano Ronaldo put United in an impregnable position. Reigning champions Chelsea stayed second with a 4-0 home victory over Wigan while Liverpool remained third after a 3-0 win away to basement club Watford.
Arsenal belied their reputation for being a soft touch away from home with a 2-0 win away to Blackburn despite playing most of the match with 10 men.
They lost Gilberto Silva in the 13th minute after the Brazil midfielder was sent-off for kicking out at Robbie Savage.
Despite that setback, Kolo Toure put Arsenal ahead before a sublime strike on the counter from skipper Thierry Henry sealed victory 19 minutes from time at Ewood Park. “We controlled the game quite well,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. “It was a great combination of quality, talent and solidarity.”
Charlton went down 1-3 to Middlesbrough while West Ham drew 3-3 against Fulham. Bolton remained fifth with a goalless draw at home to Manchester City, while Portsmouth drew 1-1 away to Sheffield United.