Evergreen Paul Scholes marked his return to Premier League duty with the first goal for Manchester United in a 3-0 home win against Bolton Wanderers as the champions moved level on points with leaders Manchester City on Saturday.
Tottenham Hotspur squandered the chance to make it a three-way tie on 48 points when they could only draw 1-1 at home to lowly Wolverhampton Wanderers to stay two points behind the leaders on 46 points.
Luka Modric equalised for Tottenham after Steven Fletcher had given Wolves a surprise lead.
City, who play at bottom club Wigan Athletic on Monday, retain top spot from United on goal difference.
The 37-year-old Scholes, who provided one of the season's most unexpected turns when he came out of retirement to play in the FA Cup win against Man City last week, scored in first half stoppage time -- his first goal since August 2010.
Wayne Rooney had earlier had a penalty saved by Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan. Late goals by Danny Welbeck and Michael Carrick made the victory safe for Alex Ferguson's side.
Frank Lampard scored the winner for fourth-placed Chelsea in a 1-0 defeat of Sunderland but Liverpool, in sixth, were frustrated in their quest for Champions League qualification when they drew 0-0 at home to Stoke City.
Arsenal, who are fifth, travel to Swansea City on Sunday.
At the bottom, Blackburn Rovers climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 victory at home to Fulham despite playing more than half the match with 10 men after Yakubu was red-carded for a rash tackle.
Darren Bent was on target for Aston Villa in a 1-1 home draw with Everton while Norwich City continued their impressive first season back in the top flight with a 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion.