Javier Hernandez and Nani set each other up for goals as Manchester United beat Stoke 2-1 to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League on Tuesday.
A back-flick from Hernandez put United in front and, after Dean Whitehead headed Stoke level, the Mexico forward fed Nani for a well-placed winner.
"Stoke are such a determined bunch of lads _ they don't make it easy for anyone, breaking them down," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "Thankfully Nani produced a fantastic goal ... and from then we were solid." Unbeaten all season, United not only has a three point lead but also a game in hand over Manchester City, which is at third-place Arsenal on Wednesday.
In Tuesday's other matches, Birmingham and Fulham climbed out of the relegation zone with victories.
Birmingham won for the first time away this season came after Scott Dann's 89th minute goal secured a 2-1 victory at Blackpool, while Fulham beat West Bromwich 3-0.
In the title race, United has now collected 19 points from a possible 21 in its last seven matches.