Chelsea and Manchester City offered further evidence that they will lead the pursuit of Arsenal after both recording wins against Southampton and Swansea respectively.
Chelsea recovered from going behind after 13 seconds to beat Southampton 3-1 at home with John Terry scoring on his 400th league appearance for the club and free-scoring Man City climbed to third after spanking Swansea City 3-0.
City, for whom Samir Nasri netted twice, have now scored 16 goals in their last three home matches.
Liverpool began the day in second place but faltered, losing 3-1 at Hull City.
With a third of the season gone Arsenal lead the standings on 31 points, four more than Chelsea and six ahead of City with Liverpool in fourth, a further point behind.
United are eighth, nine points adrift.