In their best performance of the season Manchester United beat Newcastle United 3-0 at St. James while Spurs continued their resurgence under André Villas-Boas.
What undid Newcastle today was set pieces as United scored twice from corners in the opening 20 minutes. First Jonny Evans headed in Robin van Persie’s corner after eight minutes then Patrice Evra scored from a Wayne Rooney corner. David de Gea made a great save to somehow keep out a Papiss Cissé’s header in the second half before Tom Cleverley scored his second goal against Newcastle in the last 10 days to give Man Utd the win. With the win, United move up to second place, four points behind leaders Chelsea.
At White Hart Lane Tottenham secured their third successive league win thanks to goals from Steven Caulker and Aaron Lennon.
After a slow start under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs have climbed to fifth place and they were always in control against struggling Villa, who slip to 16th position.
Villas-Boas, who ended USA goalkeeper Brad Friedel’s run of 310 consecutive Premier League starts by starting recent signing Hugo Lloris instead, saw defender Caulker break the deadlock in the 58th minute when he deflected in Jermain Defoe’s shot.
England winger Lennon sealed the points with a surging run and cool finish in the 67th minute.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers suffered another Anfield nightmare as his struggling side were held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke City.
Rodgers has yet to oversee a Premier League home win in four attempts since taking charge of Liverpool in the close season, and the Reds’ barren run in front of their own supporters has now stretched to six matches in all competitions.
The hosts hit the woodwork three times, but Liverpool were unable to break down Stoke’s stubborn defence and Rodgers’ side remain in 14th place after just one win in their first seven league matches.
Elsewhere, Southampton defender Jose Fonte headed a late equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw against Fulham in a dramatic finish at St Mary’s.
Nigel Adkins’ side looked set for their sixth defeat in seven league matches this season when Kieran Richardson put Fulham 2-1 ahead with just two minutes to go.
But Portuguese centre-back Fonte, who had earlier given Saints the lead before a Jos Hooiveld own goal drew Fulham level, came to the rescue as he popped up at the far post to nod home a free-kick in added time.
Fonte’s goal lifted Southampton out of the relegation zone at Reading’s expense, while Fulham remain in ninth place.