Wayne Rooney broke his 10-match scoring drought in style with a hat-trick as Manchester United registered a 4-0 win over Bolton Wanderers to stay ahead of champions Chelsea at the top of the English Premiership.
The England striker scored the first two and after Cristiano Ronaldo had made it 3-0 in the 82nd minute, sealed the win with the fourth to ensure United stayed top on goal difference on Saturday.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he knew Rooney would come good.
"It was going to happen sooner or later," Ferguson said. "I spoke to Wayne beforehand and just told him to relax and keep concentrating.
"Once he got the first one, you could see the confidence coming back and after that, I was just hoping the ball would go to him all the time."
Chelsea kept the pressure on with a 2-0 win at Sheffield United, with Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack scoring the goals.
Danny Webber missed a penalty for United (17) and Chelsea made them pay with Lampard putting them ahead just before half-time with a long-range free-kick and Ballack scored his second goal in as many games just after the break.
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho paid tribute to his third-choice goalkeeper Hilario, whose penalty save kept Chelsea on even terms early on.
"Hilario is amazing," Mourinho said. "He is cool and comfortable in goal and I think the penalty save was a three-point save."
Arsenal could not make it six wins out of six in the league as Everton held them to a 1-1 draw at home.
And they had to come from behind to salvage a point as Tim Chaill put Everton ahead early on, only for Robin van Persie to equalise midway through the second half.
Liverpool ended a poor run with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa, with Dirk Kuyt, Peter Crouch and Luis Garcia scoring their goals to lift them into the top half of the table.
Portsmouth moved up to fourth with a 3-1 win over Reading, while Wigan won 1-0 at Fulham and Watford drew 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur.
Newcastle United were held to a goalless draw by bottom side Charlton Athletic in the day's late match.