LONDON: Manchester United and City sit first and second in the English Premier League after winning progress.
City won 2-0 at home to Aston Villa and then a superb angled drive from Paul Pogba handed United a 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The game was level at 1-1 when the 27-year-old created space for himself before bending the ball from outside the area past Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and into the corner of the net.
The Cottagers had taken the lead when Ademola Lookman turned the ball into the bottom corner with six minutes on the clock, only for Edinson Cavani to capitalise on a mistake from Areola to level.
Leicester and Manchester City had moved to the summit over the last 24 hours, but the win sent the Red Devils two points clear and equalled the club-record 17 Premier League away games without defeat set by the treble-winning side of 1999.
Despite their early advantage, Fulham slipped to their second successive league defeat, while their winless run now stretches back eight games to leave them four points from safety.
Manchester City stepped up their title pursuit on beating Aston Villa but but they made hard work of it and only two late goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan secured all three points.
City had won 14 of their past 15 home league games against Villa, including the last 10 by an aggregate score of 33-4 and were expected to extend their record. This was not only because of their run of nine successive victories in all competitions but because Villa’s first-team had not played since New Year’s Day, when they were also in Manchester and lost 2-1 to United at Old Trafford.
Nine Villa players and five backroom staff had tested positive for Covid-19 with their training ground shut as a precaution.
Emi Martinez, in Villa’s goal, was their outstanding player He kept them in the gajme after a goalless first half and Villa had early chances to take a surprise lead early in the second half. Ederson saved well from Douglas Luiz.
In the 79th minute City finally gained the reward all their pressure deserved. Tyrone Mings lost possession to Rodri who passed the ball on for Silva to score. Villa manager Dean Smith was red-carded for protesting in vain that Rodri had come back from an offside position.
Ilkay Gundogan struck City’s second from a stoppage-time penalty after Matty Cash handled a header from Gabriel Jesus. The goal was a deserved reward to Gundogan for his outstanding form in recent weeks.