Chelsea maintained their control in the title race with a 7-0 win over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge to go a point clear of United at the top of the table.
The Blues, who were without the suspended John Terry, emphatically returned to winning ways after their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham last weekend. A first half brace from Salomon Kalou - whose sliding finish for the second resulted in Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen being stretchered off with a suspected broken elbow - was followed by a penalty from Frank Lampard to give the home side a 3-0 advantage at half-time.
Kalou completed his hat-trick shortly after the hour, while Lampard added a fifth on 81 minutes. Substitute Daniel Sturridge got in on the act six minutes later with Florent Malouda netting the seventh a minute from time for Chelsea, who further increased their goal difference advantage over United to +8.
Chelsea travel to Anfield next Sunday to face Liverpool, whose 4-0 win at Turf Moor relegated Burnley to the Championship. The result keeps Liverpool's faint top four ambitions alive and United will be hoping for a favour from their arch rivals a week today.