Manchester United recorded their fourth successive Premier League win with a dominant performance against a Sunderland side which has been pushed further from safety.
United deserved the victory – enjoying 63% of possession and having a total of 23 shots on goal – but only a first-half Daley Blind effort separated the teams until the final 10 minutes.
The Dutchman was put through by a delightful Zlatan Ibrahimovic pass and fired low into the bottom-right corner for his first goal of the season before United doubled their advantage with Paul Pogba setting up Ibrahimovic with eight minutes remaining.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan added gloss to the scoreline with a brilliant backheeled effort, though replays suggested the Armenian was offside.
It is a victory which draws United level with fifth-placed Tottenham, although the north Londoners have a game in hand, playing Southampton on Wednesday.
Fabio Borini scored a late consolation for Sunderland, but defeat – their third in four games – leaves the Black Cats two points adrift of safety.
And Chelsea moved nine points clear at the top of the table by beating Bournemouth to set a club record of 12 straight Premier League wins.
Cesc Fabregas set up Pedro to break the deadlock with a deflected shot that looped into the top corner.
Eden Hazard capped an impressive display by making it 2-0 from the spot after he was brought down by Simon Francis.
Pedro added a third goal deep in injury time when his shot hit Steve Cook and the ball span over the line.
Bournemouth’s best chance saw substitute Benik Afobe denied by Thibaut Courtois but the Cherries ended up well beaten.
Manchester City can reduce Chelsea’s lead to seven points if they beat Hull later on Boxing Day.
In the first game of the day, Troy Deeney scored a second-half penalty to equalise for Watford as Sam Allardyce took a point on his return to management with Crystal Palace.
After dominating in the opening stages, Palace went ahead through Yohan Cabaye’s low strike in the 26th minute.
The visitors missed the chance to double their lead when Christian Benteke’s penalty was saved by Heurelho Gomes after the Watford goalkeeper had fouled the Belgian.
Deeney converted his penalty – after Sebastian Prodl was fouled – to end a 10-game goalless run and score his 100th Watford goal, reports the BBC.
The point for Palace, who sacked Alan Pardew as manager on Thursday before appointing former England boss Allardyce the following day, comes after back-to-back defeats and moves them two points clear of the relegation zone.
EPL RESULTS Watford 1 – 1 Crystal Palace Arsenal 1 – 0 West Brom Burnley 1 – 0 Middlesbrough Chelsea 3 – 0 Bournemouth Leicester 0 – 2 Everton Man Utd 3 – 1 Sunderland Swansea 1 – 4 West Harm