The Man United players had a reason to celebrate as they close in on a record 20th Premier League title. (AP)
Manchester City capitalised on a stumble from Chelsea to tighten their grip on second place in the Premier League on Saturday, after Manchester United took another stride towards the title.
United's 1-0 win at Sunderland had given them an 18-point lead but City cut their advantage back to 15 points ahead of the forthcoming Manchester derby by crushing Newcastle United 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
Carlos Tevez slid in to convert Gael Clichy's cross in the 41st minute and David Silva made it 2-0 before half-time when he collected Samir Nasri's pass and rifled a shot into the bottom-right corner.
Making his first appearance in two months, City captain Vincent Kompany added a third in the 56th minute with a flick from Gareth Barry's low shot and an own goal from James Perch made Newcastle's misery complete.
Cushion for City
City now have a five-point cushion in second place after Chelsea saw their hopes of Champions League qualification compromised in a 2-1 loss at Southampton.
Jay Rodriguez put the hosts ahead in the 23rd minute, exchanging passes with Steven Davis and coolly steering the ball past the advancing Petr Cech. Chelsea captain John Terry equalised in the 33rd minute, heading home from a corner, but Rickie Lambert restored the hosts' lead two minutes later when he swept home a superb free-kick from 25 yards. Southampton have now beaten City, Liverpool and Chelsea at home this year, and Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were the chief beneficiaries of their latest success.
Spurs won 2-1 at Swansea City to leapfrog Chelsea into third place, although they have played a game more.
Jan Vertonghen's classy finish put Tottenham ahead in the 17th minute and the Belgian then teed up Gareth Bale to beat Michel Vorm with a vicious strike from outside the area.