Chelsea took advantage of a slip from Manchester United to go eight points clear at the top of the Barclays Premiership by beating Norwich 3-1.
Starting the day six points adrift of the leaders, United were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Crystal Palace with Roy Keane having a goal wrongly
disallowed for offside. Keane's effort midway through the first half should have stood but was ruled out by referee Mark Clattenburg after a
linesman's erroneous flag. Ryan Giggs swung in a left-wing 20th-minute free-kick and, as the Palace defence charged out, Keane crept round the back to
put the ball in the net only for the effort to be disallowed.
Palace goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly also saved well from close range from Ruud van Nistelrooy before the half ended and the home side were doing well to
hold on after the break but their cause was not helped by three minutes of rashness from Vassilis Lakis. Having been booked for a foul on Giggs the
Greek chopped down Keane in the 64th minute and was sent off. Wayne Rooney came off the bench for Alan Smith with 15 minutes to go and almost
immediately had claims for a penalty turned down but United could not find a way through despite bombarding the Palace goal.
And Jose Mourinho's men took full advantage of the Red Devils' slip by pulling further clear at the summit. But it required two goals in seven
second-half minutes from Mateja Kezman and Ricardo Carvalho to silence relegation-haunted Norwich after Leon McKenzie had dared to threaten an upset.
McKenzie had cancelled out Joe Cole's searing opener with a header from Darren Huckerby's cross.
Arsenal moved to within two points of United after a Thierry Henry hat-trick in a 3-0 win at home to Portsmouth. The Gunners dominated the first half
but saw their well-publicised injury worries increase when Pascal Cygan had to be taken off to be replaced by Lauren. However, it was the substitute
who had a hand in the opening goal after racing down the right in the 39th minute and crossing for Henry to take a touch and slot into the bottom
corner. Things got easier for Arsenal after the break as Henry latched onto Patrick Vieira's pass in the 53rd minute to chip over the advancing Kostas
Chalkias for his second goal of the match. Aiyegbeni Yakubu almost reduced the deficit from close range 20 minutes from the end but his effort rolled
wide of the post before Henry completed his hat-trick with an 85th-minute free-kick.
Liverpool's Champions League qualification hopes were dealt a shattering blow in a 1-0 defeat against Newcastle at St James' Park. After a goalless
first half Frenchman Laurent Robert curled a 70th-minute free-kick from left angle of the penalty area, with Scott Carson - on debut after injury
ruled out Jerzy Dudek - managing to get only a fingertip on the strike.
Middlesbrough's dismal league run was extended to just one win in nine matches after a 2-0 defeat in the early kick-off at Aston Villa. Martin Laursen
scored on his first appearance after seven months out with a knee injury and Luke Moore registered his first senior goal, both coming in the second
Southampton's battle against relegation was boosted after a 1-0 victory over Tottenham, which put them within two points of 17th-placed Palace. After
a goalless first half Nigel Quashie, a transfer window signing from Portsmouth, broke the deadlock. Substitute Mikael Nilsson's cross was headed home
by the Scotland international from six yards in the 51st minute.
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy excelled for Charlton but they still could not break the deadlock in a 0-0 draw against Fulham at Craven