Wayne Rooney fired Manchester United back to the top of the English football Premiership as his double-strike inspired a 3-nil over Fulham at OldTrafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson's team had been knocked off top spot by Chelsea's victory against West Ham yesterda, but Rooney struck 30 seconds after half-time and added a second in the closing stages.
Dimitar Berbatov headed United's third goal in the last minute to ensure the champions moved two points clear of the Blues and third placed Arsenal.
United had lost 3-nil Fulham earlier this season but Rooney, who has now scored 16 goals in his last 11 United appearances, broke their resistance when he met Nani's cross with a first-time finish that flashed past Mark Schwarzer from 10 yards out.
Manchester City failed to claim fourth place after drawing 1-all at Sunderland.