Rampaging City hit United for six in Manchester
Manchester City achieved one of their greatest ever victories when they crushed Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford to announce themselves as the team most likely to succeed United as champions by the end of the season.
The stunning success -- their biggest at Old Trafford since a 5-0 win in 1955 -- saw Mario Balotelli and late substitute Edin Dzeko score twice each with Sergio Aguero and David Silva adding the others.
Three of City's goals came in the last four minutes of the match and they could have had even more.
United played for most of the second half with 10 men after defender Jonny Evans was sent off for trying to haul down Balotelli on a break, and were powerless to prevent City becoming the first team to beat them at home since April 2010.
It also ended United's run of 19 successive home league wins and lifted City on to 25 points from nine matches, five clear of second-placed United, whose consolation came from Darren Fletcher nine minutes from time.
Fletcher's goal made the score 3-1, but then City crashed in three more goals as United caved in at the back to concede six goals at home in a league match for the first time since a 7-4 defeat to Newcastle United in September 1930.
In the other early matches, Arsenal continued their improvement after their poor start to the season with a 3-1 win over Stoke City at the Emirates with goals from Gervinho and two from substitute Robin van Persie after Peter Crouch equalised for the visitors.
Everton scored two late goals through Louis Saha and Jack Rodwell to win 3-1 at Fulham while Blackburn Rovers were playing Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers were playing Chelsea in later action.