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Early Christmas party for Manchester rivals

Premier League leaders Manchester City and champions Manchester United switched attention back to the action and away from controversies surrounding racism with easy wins on Wednesday. When the fans lose it | Points table

sports Updated: Dec 23, 2011 01:42 IST

Premier League leaders Manchester City and champions Manchester United switched attention back to the action and away from controversies surrounding racism with easy wins on Wednesday.



City ensured they will be top at Christmas for the first time since 1929 with a 3-0 home win over Stoke City thanks to two goals from Sergio Aguero and one from Adam Johnson.



United remained two points behind City after thrashing Fulham 5-0 at Craven Cottage. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/23-12-pg23f.jpg

Among United’s scorers was 38-year-old Ryan Giggs who maintained his record of a goal in all 20 seasons since the Premier League began, although his effort just before halftime took a deflection off Fulham defender Philippe Senderos.

Danny Wellbeck, Nani with a rare header, Wayne Rooney with a stunning 30-metre shot and Dimitar Berbatov with a cheeky backheel sent Fulham to their heaviest home defeat for 24 years.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/23-12-pg23d.jpg

The results lifted City to 44 points from 17 matches with United on 42. Third-placed Tottenham Hotspur (34 points from 15 games) and fourth-placed Chelsea (32 from 17) meet in what should be a tense London derby at White Hart Lane on Thursday.

Yossi Benayoun scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal on Wednesday, striking with three minutes left to earn the Gunners a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.

Villa seemed to have earned a point when Marcus Albrighton equalized Robin van Persie’s 17th-minute penalty with the 20,000th goal since the Premier League began in August 1992.

Charlie Adam missed a penalty for Liverpool in a 0-0 draw at Wigan on Wednesday.

Traffic strike hits gunners tie
Arsenal have postponed their Boxing Day Premier League fixture with Wolves after threatened industrial action on London's Underground system, the club announced Thursday.

The Gunners were due to face Wolves as part of the traditional programme on December 26 but have now shunted the fixture back 24 hours as London braces for travel disruption from the strike.

Portugal legend eusebio in hospital

Doctors say former Portugal and Benfica star Eusebio is likely to stay in a hospital over Christmas after being diagnosed with double pneumonia.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/23-12-pg23e.jpg

Joao Sa, head of the intensive care unit at Lisbon's Hospital da Luz, said that doctors are optimistic about his chances of a full recovery.