Manchester United strolled to a 2-0 defeat of Manchester City on Sunday to return to the top of the Premier League and closer to a record-equalling 18th title.
Cristiano Ronaldo's deflected free kick and a superb strike by Carlos Tevez on the stroke of halftime made it a comfortable afternoon at Old Trafford for the champions who lead Liverpool by three points.
United are on 83 points and have three games left to play to Liverpool's two, starting on Wednesday at Wigan Athletic. Liverpool had gone top on Saturday on goal difference after a 3-0 victory at West Ham United.
Argentine Tevez, who was quoted in Sunday's newspapers as saying he wants to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, was in superb form, curling another shot against the woodwork as United dominated the derby.