Winger Ashley Young hailed a "massive" win for Manchester United as they beat Blackburn 2-0 to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League.
United had to wait until the final ten minutes to secure the win, with Antonio Valencia crashing in from an acute angle before Young's turn and finish ensured the points soon after.
It meant United moved further clear of Manchester rivals City, who could see the gap extended to eight points before they travel to Arsenal on Sunday.
"I think this was a massive game for us. We knew if we won we would go five points clear," Young told Sky Sports. "It was a great result, a great performance."
The win was United's seventh league success on the spin as they have fully cashed in on City's struggles to take over the title race.
United next meet QPR at Old Trafford before City meet the Gunners later that day. "It's a crucial time in the season. Everyone knows that," Young said.
On Valencia's strike, he added: "To get that goal, we knew it would come at some point, whether it was a shot or cross it went in the back of the net."
Valencia capped another impressive performance with a memorable goal, but asked whether it was a cross or shot, he joked: "It was 50-50."