Liverpool stay top; Chelsea, Manchester United in touch
Liverpool stayed ahead of Chelsea at the top of the English Premier League thanks to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Boxing Day, dpa reported.
Robbie Keane scored twice and Albert Riera the other as Liverpool won at home for the first time in seven weeks, keeping them one point ahead of Chelsea, who stayed on their heels with a 2-0 win over bottom side West Bromwich Albion.
Champions Manchester United moved above Aston Villa into third, seven points behind Liverpool with two games in hand, thanks to a 1-0 victory at Stoke City. Villa can regain third spot if they beat fifth-placed Arsenal later on Boxing Day.
Riera opened the scoring at Anfield with a smart finish from Steven Gerrard's corner on 26 minutes.
Keane then lashed in a second on 53 minutes and finished off a superb move five points later to seal a convincing victory.
Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard scored the goals at Stamford Bridge to maintain the London side's title hopes.
Drogba fired Chelsea ahead inside three minutes and Lampard sealed the points with the second in first-half injury time.
"The early goal is important in any game, it settles the nerves, and we played some very good football today," Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins said.
"Our movement up front was very good with Anelka, Drogba and Joe Cole. We were always going to create chances."
Champions United won their first match since their Club World Cup triumph but they had to wait until the 83rd minute to find the winner at Old Trafford.
The home side finished the game with ten men after Andy Wilkinson received his second yellow card for bringing down Cristiano Ronaldo with 18 minutes to go.
Carlos Tevez then scored the winner seven minutes from the end to snatch all three points.
"Sometimes you have to be patient in games like this," United manager Sir Alex Feguson said.
"It was worth it to get three points. I'm very pleased with that."
Manchester City moved out of the relegation zone with a stunning 5-1 victory over Hull City at Eastlands.
Robinho scored two of the goals to lift City, who had lost three of their past four league games, moved up to 15th place.
Craig Bellamy scored twice as West Ham United won 4-1 at Portsmouth, lifting them out of the relegation zone and pouring more pressure on Portsmouth manager Tony Adams.
Tim Cahill scored six minutes into the second half to give Everton a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough, while Wigan Athletic beat Newcastle United 2-1 and Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers drew 0-0.
Tottenham Hotspur drew 0-0 with Fulham at White Hart Lane in the day's other game.