Dimitar Berbatov scored five goals to send Manchester United roaring back to the top of the Premier League with a 7-1 rout of Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Bulgarian, eclipsing team mate Wayne Rooney in the England striker's first league start since the beginning of October, put in a five star performance after wrapping up his hat-trick two minutes after the break.
In the absence of champions Chelsea, who can reclaim the lead at Newcastle United on Sunday, Arsenal had earlier enjoyed a brief spell in first place after beating Aston Villa 4-2 in the day's early match.
Unbeaten United now have 31 points from 15 games to Arsenal's 29.
Carlo Ancelotti's misfiring Chelsea, who have lost three of their last four Premier League encounters, fell to third overall with 28 points from 14.
Manchester City, held 1-1 at Stoke City after conceding a late equaliser, stayed fourth on 26 points.
Berbatov wasted no time in getting his name on the scoresheet, taking his first from close range in the second minute and his second in the 27th.
The fourth, again lashed in from close range, came in the 62nd and the fifth eight minutes later.
South Korean forward Park Ji-sung had made it 2-0 in the 23rd while Nani scored United's fifth in the 48th with Blackburn, taken over this month by Indian poultry giant Venky's, taking a roasting. Chris Samba took a late consolation goal with a header seven minutes from time. West Ham United remain bottom of the table despite a 3-1 home win over another relegation-threatened side Wigan Athletic.
Arsenal crush Villa
Birmingham: Arsenal survived Aston Villa's second-half fightback to recover from successive defeats with a 4-2 victory in the Premier League on Saturday.
Andrey Arshavin scored one and set up Samir Nasri as Arsenal led 2-0 at half time.
But Ciaran Clark volleyed Villa back into the game in the 52nd and then headed in another after Marouane Chamakh scored a third for Arsenal.
Arsenal made sure of the victory in stoppage time when Jack Wilshere scored his first league goal for the north London club. The Gunners had thrown away a 2-0 lead against Tottenham last Saturday before losing 3-2 and were beaten by Braga in the Champions League on Tuesday.