Manchester United extended their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to 15 points from Manchester City with a routine 2-0 win over Stoke City, who are just three points above the relegation zone. (All AFP Photos and text)
It was the perfect start for United as Van Persie's corner was not cleared by Geoff Cameron and Carrick was on hand to scramble home his second goal of the campaign.
Stoke, whose fans produced 60 seconds of applause for late 14-year-old fan Kameron Bourne on the 14 minute mark, did offer a test for United's backline.
They went close to a leveller when Robert Huth headed wide from Glenn Whelan's free kick as they looked for a way back into the game.
Robin van Persie's second half penalty sealed victory for Sir Alex Ferguson's men, meaning they can now wrap up the title as early as next Monday's match against Aston Villa.
The combustible Italian, Paolo di Canio, sprinted down the touchline to deliver repeated double fist pumps after Stephane Sessegnon's 27th-minute opener. He then slid on his knees after Adam Johnson curled in a superb second in the 74th.
Newcastle United did not just lose to Sunderland at home but also lost their keeper Tim Krul for the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder, a double blow for the struggling side.
The Liverpool team observe a minutes silence in memory of those that lost their lives during the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster during the EPL match against Reading on April 13, 2013.
Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta scores a penalty during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Norwich City at The Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger gestures during the Arsenal versus Norwich City tie at The Emirates Stadium.
Everton's Northern Irish midfielder Darron Gibson (2nd from left) celebrates scoring the opening goal with teammates during match against QPR on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at Goodison Park.
Everton's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini (L) is challenged by Queens Park Rangers' Spanish midfielder Esteban Granero during match against QPR at home.