Manchester City cut Manchester United's Premier League lead to four points by beating Fulham 2-0 yesterday thanks to a brace of goals from Spanish midfielder David Silva.
United are not in action until they visit Tottenham today and defending champions City took advantage to breathe fresh impetus into their title defence.
Silva broke the deadlock after just 96 seconds at the Etihad Stadium, slamming home from six yards after Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer parried a long-range shot from Edin Dzeko.
Steve Sidwell hit the post for the visitors in the 31st minute and City lost Pablo Zabaleta to injury before Silva added a second with 21 minutes left, gathering a Carlos Tevez flick and beating Schwarzer with a dinked finish.
Meanwhile, Liverpool reacted to last weekend's 2-1 loss at United in emphatic fashion by thrashing Norwich 5-0 at Anfield to close to within three points of the European places.
Jordan Henderson broke the deadlock with a vicious 26th-minute half-volley before home debutant Daniel Sturridge's clever dummy freed Luis Suarez to beat Mark Bunn for his seventh goal in three games against the Canaries.
Sturridge tapped in his third goal in three games for his new club in the 59th minute, with Steven Gerrard getting in on the act from 25 yards before Norwich's Ryan Bennett put through his own goal in the 74th minute.
At the bottom of the table, Adam Le Fondre scored twice in six minutes as Reading dragged themselves out of the relegation zone by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Newcastle.
Joe Cole scored the first goal of his second spell at West Ham to give his side a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw with QPR. Sunderland continued their recent revival by coming back from a goal down to win 3-2 at Wigan, while Swansea warmed up for the second leg of their League Cup semi-final with Chelsea by beating Stoke 3-1.