Javier Hernandez sent Manchester United seven points clear at the Premier League summit by pouncing in the 90th minute to clinch a 4-3 victory over Newcastle as second-place Manchester City lost at Sunderland on Wednesday.
At the season’s halfway point, United had to come from behind three times in a tumultuous, incident-filled match at Old Trafford before Hernandez buried the decisive goal.
Newcastle looked like producing its first win at Old Trafford since 1972, but United’s fighting spirit can rarely be suppressed.
For the eighth time this season in the league, Alex Ferguson’s players came from behind to win and keep a 20th English title in their sights.
“Once again they have proved their courage, never gave in – down three times and came back three times, and eventually deserved to win the game,” United manager Alex Ferguson said.
“Never mind where we are at this moment in time, this was a championship performance.”
As United bounced back from Sunday’s draw at Swansea, City’s three-match winning run came to an end after its former winger, Adam Johnson, gave Sunderland a 1-0 victory over the champions.
Chelsea is now only four points behind City with a game in hand after Juan Mata clinched a 1-0 victory at Norwich.
Tottenham, Everton and West Bromwich Albion are all two points behind Chelsea.
Tottenham moved into the fourth Champions League spot as Gareth Bale scored a second-half hat trick in a 4-0 rout of Aston Villa. Everton beat Wigan 2-1 and West Brom won by the same score at Queens Park Rangers, which sunk back to the bottom.