LONDON (AP) -- The Manchester clubs ushered in 2013 by making statements of intent in the English Premier League title race on Tuesday, with United cruising to a 4-0 win at Wigan and City thrashing Stoke 3-0 at home.
Braces by Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie, who took his league-high tally to 16 goals, ensured United maintained its seven-point lead at the top, with its under-fire defense keeping a second straight clean sheet.
Second-place City kept the pressure on, however, thanks to goals by Pablo Zabaleta, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero at the Etihad Stadium, ending Stoke's 10-match unbeaten run.
Tottenham climbed provisionally to third, above Chelsea, by beating Reading 3-1 while struggling Aston Villa conceded a stoppage-time equalizer to draw 2-2 at Swansea. Out-of-form pair Fulham and West Ham also won.