Manchester City grabbed a crucial advantage in the battle for the Premier League title as they beat United 1-0 in the Manchester derby at the Etihad.
Vincent Kompany's strike late in the first half was enough to give City the win that takes them to the top of the Premier League on goal difference, with just two games remaining.
There were no surprises in the City team with Roberto Mancini keeping faith with Pablo Zabaleta ahead of Micah Richards at right-back. Sir Alex Ferguson, though, made four changes to the side that twice let a two-goal lead slip against Everton last time out.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones came in for Rafael and Jonny Evans as Ferguson tried to stiffen up his back line. Clearly setting up his side with the knowledge that a draw would do, Ferguson brought in Ji-Sung Park to reinforce his midfield in the place of Danny Welbeck. Antonio Valencia was also left out of the starting lineup with Ryan Giggs coming in and Nani shifting over to the right.
Wit City knowing that they needed to win, they took the greater initiative in the first 45 minutes. And the home side was rewarded in first-half injury time.
David Silva whipped a corner in from the right and Vincent Kompany escaped the attentions of Chris Smalling before powering a header past David de Gea in the United goal.
With just about an hour gone Ferguson looked for some attacking impetus from the bench and brought on Welbeck in place of Park. But City soon looked to counter that move by sacrificing Carlos Tevez for defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong, as the home side looked to hold on to their lead.
But having set out their side to contain City, United were always going to struggle if they fell behind. Testament to that was the fact that it took United failed to get a shot on target through the 90 minutes.
With the tension mounting Ferguson came face-to-face with Roberto Mancini in a heated confrontation, before the pair had to be separated.
But the match finished with Mancini and the blue half of Manchester celebrating as City held out for the priceless victory. With an eight-goal advantage in goal difference, wins in their final two games should be enough to give City their first title in 44 years.