LEROY SANE led City’s record-busting goalkings back to top spot in the Premier League.
The defending champs took advantage of their game in hand over title rivals Liverpool to open up a one-point lead at the summit.
Strikes from Bernardo Silva and Sane made it an English top-flight record 157 goals in all competitions this term, beating their 2014 tally.
City skipper Vincent Kompany roared: “We need three wins. We shouldn’t expect Liverpool to drop points.
“Tonight was about patience. We didn’t start as well as we would have liked but at this stage it can happen.
“We stayed calm, defended well and in the second half we were creating chances and scored our goals.”
Liverpool started the night with a two-point lead over City, having played a game more.
And Merseyside fans were in the bizarre position of hoping United — their most bitter rivals — would do them a favour and halt Pep Guardiola’s title charge.
But Bernardo fired home after 54 minutes to mark his 100th game for the champions.
And sub Sane sealed the deal 12 minutes later with a drive that De Gea made a mess of.
Liverpool will take over at the top again on Friday night if they beat relegated Huddersfield at Anfield.
City then travel to Burnley on Sunday lunchtime.
LATEST MAN CITY NEWS
United have now lost seven out of their last nine games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And they have shipped 50 Premier League goals this season — their worst defensive display in the top flight for 40 years.
Victory puts City 25 points clear of their local rivals and Guardiola has become the first visiting boss to win three Prem games in a row at Old Trafford.