LEEDS continued to lead the chasing bunch behind Manchester United at the top of the English Premier League yesterday with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Arsenal. Scottish international Gary McAllister did much of the damage, scoring the first goal and causing the second when Tony Adams deflected a free-kick past his own goalkeeper, David Seaman. But United, who meet Aston Villa today, still have a 10-point lead over Leeds as they seek to retain their title, a huge advantage ahead of the busy Christmas programme. Blackburn Rovers remained in third place after a 2-0 home win over Manchester City, and Newcastle impressed once again as they gained a similar result at another troubled club, Everton. Leeds's victory gave manager Howard Wilkinson considerable satisfaction as his side have struggled against Arsenal in recent years, but he conceded United would be difficult to catch, even with half the season to go. ''We're halfway round the Grand National course and if I was a bookmaker I wouldn't be taking bets,'' said Wilkinson. ''All the rest of us can do is keep going.'' Arsenal, for whom Kevin Campbell scored, suffered further disappointment when when England full-back Lee Dixon was carried off after taking a knock in attempting to stop Brian Deane scoring a third goal for Leeds in injury time. Blackburn took control against visitors Manchester City in the 13th minute when Kevin Gallacher converted Mike Newell's low cross. England striker Alan Shearer added another in the 76th minute. Struggling City have won just one of their last 11 games. Newcastle's Andy Cole hit his 18th league goal of the season in Newcastle's triumph at Everton. Cole struck in the 14th minute in a move set up by former Goodison favourite Peter Beardsley. Beardsley added another in the 76th minute. Sheffield Wednesday, who have lost only one game in their last 14, crushed West Ham 5-0 with Chris Waddle involved in all the goals. West Ham's Mike Marsh conceded a first-half own-goal and minutes after the break Wednesday went 3-0 ahead through Mark Bright and Waddle. Nigel Jemson and Carlton Palmer completed the rout. Tottenham Hotspur produced the day's best comeback, rallying from 3-1 down to secure a 3-3 draw with Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Liverpool fought back from a Vinnie Samways goal with a superb free-kick by Jamie Redknapp and two goals from Robbie Fowler, one a penalty. But a 69th-minute penalty by Mike Hazard and Darren Caskey's further effort earned Spurs a well-deserved point. England international John Barnes left the pitch with a groin strain in the second half as Liverpool suffered further problems. A last-minute Ipswich goal, credited as an own goal against Gary Megson, sent Norwich crashing to a 2-1 defeat in the East Anglian derby, opening a three-point gap between the top five sides and the rest. At the bottom, it was a landmark afternoon for Swindon, who won only their second match in the Premier League. They beat fellow relegation strugglers Southampton 2-1 and are now level on 14 points with their rivals.