Wayne Rooney scored three minutes before the half-time whistle to give Manchester United a slender lead, which they ultimately held on to en route to a 1-0 win over Fulham that sent them top of the Premier League table.
The Cottagers had defended bravely at Old Trafford but Rooney’s timely strike eased any concerns of the home supporters and ensured that United go into the second half with the momentum on their side.
Martin Jol’s men could not find the equalizer they needed and consequently, United replaced Manchester City at the league summit.
On Saturday, the Citizens had drawn 1-1 at Stoke City as Yaya Toure’s brilliant long-range strike cancelled out Peter Crouch’s even more impressive volley earlier in the match.
That result was enough to temporarily propel City to the top of the table on goal difference.
However, United’s well-known clutch factor at this time of the year was poised to guide them three points clear once again and despite a nervy evening at home, the defending champions succeeded in creating that cushion with eight fixtures remaining in the season.
Arsenal, who had won 3-0 at home to Aston Villa on Saturday, revived an outside chance of competing for the title when they had cut the gap to the league leaders to 12 points.
Tonight’s result once again creates a 15-point deficit between the Gunners and United, thus effectively spelling the end of any faint hopes that may have risen after a stunning run of seven consecutive top-flight wins.