Paul Scholes peels away after scoring his 150th goal in his 700th appearance for United
By Tunde Sulaiman, with agency reports
Manchester United thrashed a poor Wigan side 4-0 to record their third consecutive league victory of the season, while Arsenal continued its good run with a 6-1 hammering of new boys Southampton.
However, champions, Manchester City could only salvage a 1-1 draw at Stoke while pacesetters Chelsea played goalless at QPR, where the racism spat between Anton Ferdinand and John Terry continued after the QPR defender failed to shake the hand of the Blues captain.
Anton, who is the younger brother of Manchester United’s Rio, also snubbed the hand of Ashley Cole, ostensibly because the Chelsea defender had spoken in defence of his skipper at the racism trial, which exonerated Terry.
At Old Trafford, Javier Hernandez missed a penalty early on after Danny Welbeck was adjudged to have been brought down in the box, but made up by netting the hosts' second.
Paul Scholes had opened the scoring early in the second half, Alex Buttner grabbed a third after a mazy run and Nick Powell added a fourth on debut.
Wigan's best chance fell to Arouna Kone who miscued his shot wide of goal.
And at the Emirates, Arsenal produced a superb first-half display of attacking football to sweep bottom-placed club Southampton aside.
A Jos Hooiveld own goal opened the scoring before Lukas Podolski arrowed a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner.
Gervinho then drilled in, and Nathaniel Clyne buried a second own goal before Danny Fox pulled one back.
Gervinho grabbed his second after the break and substitute Theo Walcott then added a late sixth to leave Southampton still looking for their first point.
In other games, Norwich played out a goalless home draw with West Ham, Aston Villa beat Swansea 2-0 and West Brom fell 3-0 at Fulham.
United wins put them a point behind Chelsea with nine, while Arsenal is a point behind on eight same as fourth placed Manchester City.