The Premier League table is very much taking shape after another weekend which saw the Manchester duo pull away at the top, and five teams cut adrift at the bottom.
Manchester City and Manchester United appear on collision course for an April title decider following their respective wins over Bolton Wanderers, who suffered their 19th defeat of the season, and Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs' title challenge fizzling out at White Hart Lane.
Robin Van Persie's double worked as a crushing Carling Cup comedown for Liverpool, as Arsenal continue to bloom at the start of spring.
At the lower half, just two points separate the bottom five clubs, who appear cut adrift from 15th place Aston Villa.
As ever, there are winners and losers in the Premier League, and GMF takes a look at those players who played a deceive role in the weekend just gone.
Wojciech Szczesny - Arsenal
The Pole was perhaps unfortunate to concede a penalty after brushing Luis Suarez, but he pulled off an excellent save to deny Dirk Kuyt from the spot - and then the rebound.
Bacary Sagna - Arsenal
Produced a superb cross to find Van Persie, who drew Arsenal level out of the blue at Anfield. Another defender to add Stewart Downing to their pocket this season.
Michael Turner - Sunderland
Despite the late equaliser, was solid at the back, keeping Newcastle's main threat, Demba Ba, quiet throughout. Won the penalty which put Sunderland ahead.
Gareth McAuley - West Bromwich Albion
Was in the right place at the right time to give the Baggies the lead, but it was his patrolling of Didier Drogba that underpinned their victory.
Gael Clichy - Manchester City
Had his shot deflected in as City hit the front, but his continued assurance at left-back, which has helped City conceded just three goals in his last eight appearances, caught the eye.
Charles N'Zogbia - Aston Villa
After a limp start to his career at Villa Park, N'Zogbia has begun to chip in in the New Year. Another goal, and another volley earned Villa a point.
Clint Dempsey - Fulham
Continued his remarkable goalscoring record this season, with his 17th and 18th goals of the season, twice cruising through the middle of Wolves' defence.
Gylfi Siguardsson - Swansea City
Scored two of the finest individuals efforts of the weekend, the first arrowing into the far corner past Ali Al-Habsi, the second wrong footing the Omen international from a free-kick.
Ashley Young - Manchester United
Began the game in uncertain circumstances, but quickly proved decisive, first setting up Wayne Rooney's opener before a acrobatic volley and long-range curling effort confirmed the three points.
Pavel Pogrebnyak - Fulham
Netted a perfect hat-trick in the demolition of Wolves, the first a diving header following a corner, the second a devastating finish after a sweeping Fulham move, before a tap in rounded off a perfect day for the loanee.
Robin Van Persie - Arsenal
As he often has this season, the Dutchman came to the Gunners' rescue with his clinical finish to claim the points on Merseyside. After his headed equaliser, his volleyed winner in injury time is already a goal of the month contender.
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