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By ESPN Staff

Prem wrap: West Ham hit for six by Reading

Reading ran riot as they crushed West Ham 6-0 in the Premiership this afternoon.

The Royals were in outstanding form at Madejski Stadium, racing into a 4-0 lead in the first half as the struggling Hammers made a shocking start to 2007.

Brynjar Gunnarsson headed in the hosts' first after 13 minutes from a Nicky Shorey free-kick before Stephen Hunt turned in a Steve Sidwell cross for a second.

West Ham then lost Lee Bowyer to injury and things got even worse when Anton Ferdinand headed into his own net and Kevin Doyle tapped in a fourth.

Leroy Lita got in on the act five minutes into the second half when his shot squirmed under the grasp of Robert Green and Doyle headed in his second 12 minutes from time.

Liverpool also started the year well as they moved back above Bolton into third with a 3-0 win over their fellow Champions League challengers at Anfield.

The Reds endured a frustrating first half but then burst into life with two goals in the space of a minute just after the hour.

Peter Crouch grabbed the first with a spectacular overhead kick before Steven Gerrard volleyed in a second moments later. Dirk Kuyt wrapped up the win after 83 minutes.

Blackburn were also in the goals as they ran out 3-0 winners in torrential rain at Wigan.

Emile Heskey's headed own goal gave Rovers a half-time lead and Mark Hughes' side secured the points after the break with a Matt Derbyshire tap-in and Benni McCarthy penalty.

Yakubu struck twice in the second half as Middlesbrough claimed three points from a tense clash with Sheffield United at the Riverside Stadium.

Mark Viduka's deflected strike gave Boro the lead but the Blades got themselves back level with a Phil Jagielka penalty just before half-time.

Yakubu slid in to put Boro back ahead after Paul Gerrard blocked a Viduka shot and the Nigerian completed the victory from the penalty spot.

The only downside for Boro was the loss of on-loan Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate with yet another injury.

Georgios Samaras scored twice in the second half as Manchester City continued their revival with a 2-1 win over Everton at Eastlands.

Samaras, a half-time replacement for Bernado Corradi, side-footed home a DaMarcus Beasley cross after 50 minutes and then tucked home a 72nd-minute penalty.

Leon Osman pulled one back for the Toffees late on but City held firm for a third successive win.

Portsmouth and Tottenham fought out a 1-1 draw in a thrilling encounter at Fratton Park.

Benjani struck with the aid of a deflection to give Pompey the lead against the run of play in the 29th minute.

Spurs further picked up the tempo after the break drew level when Steed Malbranque headed home a delicate cross from Danny Murphy on 50 minutes.

Heidar Helguson may feel aggrieved after having two goals disallowed in Fulham's goalless draw with Watford at Craven Cottage.

Helguson had two efforts chalked off in the first half but the game was overshadowed by an incident involving Fulham goalkeeper Antti Niemi.

Play was held up for several minutes after Niemi suffered a serious-looking injury when he landed on his head challenging for the ball early in the second half.

Darius Henderson hit the bar late on for Watford as the game went into nine minutes of injury time.

Leaders Manchester United dropped two points as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Newcastle at St James' Park.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who led the table by six points going into the game, had fought back to lead following a stunning James Milner striker with a Paul Scholes brace.

But Newcastle fought hard and claimed a deserved point when 19-year-old defender David Edgar struck a deflected equaliser after 74 minutes.