( dpa )- Wins for Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea left the top of the English Premier League unchanged Saturday.
Champions United grabbed a hard-fought 2-0 win at Reading with two late goals from Wayne Rooney and Christiano Ronaldo .
Arsenal's comfortable 3-0 win at struggling Fulham kept up their chase for the title and they sit behind United on goal difference, with both teams level on 54 points.
Chelsea's excellent form continued with a tight 1-0 away win over Birmingham City. A rare Claudio Pizarro goal - only his second in English football - gave the Blues their sixth straight win in all competitions. They remain four points behind the leaders on 50 points.
In an entertaining and competitive game at the Madejski stadium, there were chances for both sides before Wayne Rooney slotted the ball into the net after good work by Carlos Tevez in the 75th minute.
As the home side pushed for a late equaliser , United hit their opponents on the break as Christiano Ronaldo scored yet again to seal the points.
Two first half goals from Emmanuel Adebayor enabled Arsenal to keep pace with Manchester United in the title race as they brushed aside Fulham at Craven Cottage. Fulham , who are still without a win under new manager Roy Hodgson, were punished further late in the second half as Tomas Rosicky rounded off the Gunners' win.
The gap between the chasing pack narrowed further as Blackburn drew 1-1 at home with Middlesbrough and a Benjani hat-trick gave Portsmouth a 3-1 win over Derby County.
With Everton travelling to Wigan tomorrow and fourth-placed Liverpool playing fifth-placed Aston Villa on Monday, just 2 points now separates Liverpool from Blackburn in 9th.
Tottenham closed further on the top half of the table with a 2-0 home win over Sunderland.
All eyes this evening will focus on St James' Park, as Kevin Keegan takes charge of his first match in charge of Newcastle against Bolton after his dramatic midweek return to the club he last managed 11 years ago.