A day that also witnessed a freak goal by Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was set to conclude with a table-topping affair between leaders Arsenal and closest rivals Liverpool.
Despite a disappointing start to the season, United have now gone six games without defeat in all competitions following a 3-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage. David Moyes’s side went 3-0 up inside 22 minutes, with Antonio Valencia tapping in a ninth-minute opener from Wayne Rooney’s square pass.
Robin van Persie’s emphatic finish from Adnan Januzaj’s measured through ball made it 2-0 and the Dutchman then centred for Rooney to add
City moved into the Champions League places after bouncing back from a 2-1 loss at Chelsea last weekend by thrashing Norwich 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini created a stir by dropping goalkeeper Joe Hart following a succession of blunders, but all the action came at the other end as his forwards put Norwich to the sword.
The breakthrough came in the 16th minute, the ball looping fortuitously into the net after Sergio Aguero’s shot was blocked by Michael Turner and hit Bradley Johnson before crossing the line for an own goal.
Aguero teed up David Silva for the second, with Matija Nastasic heading home from a corner.