Saturday Premiership round-up
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Man Utd extended their lead with a 3-2 win over Reading, as Fulham held Chelsea.
Manchester United ended 2006 with a six-point lead at the top after beating Reading 3-2, as Fulham battled to a 2-2 draw against Chelsea.
Liverpool and Bolton boosted their UEFA Champions League aspirations with victories over Tottenham and Portsmouth respectively, while at the bottom Charlton edged past Aston Villa and Watford's game with Wigan was abandoned in the second half.
United found Reading's resistance hard to break down in the first half at Old Trafford and although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did open the scoring after 33 minutes, Ibrahima Sonko pulled The Royals level almost immediately.
Reading could not contain United in the second half though as Cristiano Ronaldo tucked the ball home (59) after Solskjaer had struck the post, and then added another after 77 minutes.
Sam Sodje was sent off for Reading just ten minutes after coming on as a substitute, and then Leroy Lita's last-gasp goal caused a moment of panic for United before the final whistle.
Chelsea's title hopes were in danger of being destroyed when Moritz Volz fired Fulham into the lead at Stamford Bridge after 16 minutes, but Liam Rosenior deflected Frank Lampard's wayward shot into his own net (35) to bring the scores level.
Didier Drogba put Chelsea on course for victory after 62 minutes, but the Premiership champions were stunned six minutes from time as Carlos Bocanegra equalised.
Arsenal lost further ground on the leaders as they slipped to shock 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Christian Nade scored the crucial goal after 41 minutes, before Phil Jagielka went in goal for the final half hour after Paddy Kenny was substituted due to injury.
Tottenham went into their game against Liverpool on the back of a 12-game winning run at White Hart Lane, but they could not maintain their good form as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat.
Luis Garcia scrambled home the winning goal on the stroke of half-time to stretch the gap between Liverpool and Tottenham to six points.
Bolton tightened their grip on a place in the top four with a 3-2 victory over Portsmouth, although they did fall behind in the second minute when Matthew Taylor struck.
Abdoulaye Faye (30) and Ivan Campo (40) gave Bolton a half-time lead, and then a David James error allowed Nicolas Anelka (62) to secure the points, despite Andy Cole's late goal.
Everton thumped Newcastle 3-0, with Victor Anichebe bagging a brace (9 and 58) and Phil Neville netting a rare goal.
Blackburn continued their encouraging run with a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough, with Benni McCarthy grabbing the winner (64) after Yakubu's penalty (61) had cancelled out Shabani Nonda's early strike.
Manchester City beat West Ham 1-0 at Upton Park as DaMarcus Beasley's 83rd minute goal gave them their second win on the road inside four days.
Charlton recorded their first victory under Alan Pardew in the lunchtime kick-off, as substitute Bryan Hughes headed home in stoppage time to secure a dramatic 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
Gareth Barry had broken the deadlock for Villa with a penalty just before half-time after being brought down by Hermann Hreidarsson, but Darren Bent levelled for Charlton after 57 minutes and Barry was sent off moments later.
Persistent rain at Vicarage Road caused Watford's clash with Wigan to be abandoned after 56 minutes with the score 1-1.
Emile Heskey had netted for Wigan and Tamas Priskin for The Hornets before conditions became unplayable.
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|West Ham||0-1||Manchester City|