Manchester City scripted history with a 14th league win on the trot as the Citizens edged derby rivals Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford to open up a 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League summit on Sunday.
After Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal had all dropped points in their respective games on the weekend, the Sky Blues knew their tie against the second-placed Red Devils was potentially season-defining and they deservedly took the lead, although via slightly fortuitous circumstances.
David Silva took advantage of a lackadaisical Romelu Lukaku clearance inside the box and the diminutive Spaniard, who scored the winner last week against West Ham United, beat compatriot David de Gea from close range in the 43rd minute.
United, who had named an attacking lineup with Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford all featuring but had struggled to get into their rhythm, managed to find an equaliser almost immediately.
Nicolas Otamendi missed a routine header and as Fabian Delph failed to clear, Rashford seized the chance and his first-time finish beat Ederson in the second minute of first-half injury time.
At the interval, the teams were deadlocked but City had been the dominant side by far and there were to be changes made by both managers ahead of the second-half.
City skipper Vincent Kompany was replaced by Ilkay Gundogan, with Fernandinho dropping in to defence while Marcos Rojo came off in place of Victor Lindelof.
United started the second period brightly but found themselves trailing fairly early with Lukaku once again proving to be a liability in his own box. David Silva swung in a free-kick and as Lukaku’s clearance bounced off his own player’s box, Nicolas Otamendi was first to react and volleyed in from close range in the 54th minute to give the visitors a lead which they would never relinquish.
The Red Devils tried to mount a response, throwing on the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata but thanks to the brilliance of Ederson, who made a stunning double-stop late in the tie to deny Lukaku and Mata, City held on to their slender advantage.
There was plenty of drama in a game that teetered towards fractious in the end with United midfielder Ander Herrera getting booked for simulation despite clear contact from Otamendi inside the box.
With the win, City are on 46 points after 16 games played, 11 ahead of second-placed United and 14 ahead of defending champions Chelsea, who are in third.
The Sky Blues now turn their attentions towards a mid-week clash at Swansea before hosting Tottenham Hotspur in another high-profile Premier League clash on the weekend.
United will have to pick themselves up from a disappointing loss as they host Bournemouth on Wednesday before travelling to West Bromwich Albion on the weekend as the fixtures come thick and fast for the Premier League sides.