David Silva restored Manchester City's 0 win over Arsenal at Etihad Stadium.
City suffered its first league defeat of the season Monday against Chelsea, so the home win over Arsenal was crucial to get the squad back on track. City has won all eight of its home games this season in league play.
United sits two points behind City after 16 matches, while Arsenal slipped 12 points off the pace in fifth place. Arsenal had won seven of its last eight.
City nearly moved in front inside 10 minutes when Sergio Aguero broke into the right side of the area, but he failed to test Arsenal goalie Wojciech Szczesny as he lunched his attempt well over the bar.
Gervinho countered with a chance for Arsenal in the 17th minute, but his drive from a tight angle on the right was saved by City goalie Joe Hart.
Szczesny was called into action in the 23rd, and he denied Mario Balotelli off a shot from just a few yards out, as he spread himself out to deny the chance.
Aguero had an opportunity to redeem himself before halftime, but Szczesny made another fine save to keep the match scoreless after 45 minutes.
City found the breakthrough early in the second half, as Balotelli drove down the left wing, cut into the area and forced Szczesny to knock down his blast into traffic.
Aguero flicked the rebound toward goal, and it floated to the right post where Silva was, and he slotted home from inside 6 yards for his fifth goal.
City nearly doubled its lead in the 62nd, but Aguero missed another chance and the teams traded the next two chances.
Robin Van Persie, who leads the league with 15 goals, had a shot saved, and an attempt from City's Pablo Zabaleta rattled the left post in the 66th.
Thomas Vermaelen had two final chances to pull Arsenal even, but a rocket from 18 yards was tipped over the bar before he sent another long shot just wide of the left post, as City held on through 4 minutes of stoppage time.
Manchester United 2, QPR 0
London, England - Wayne Rooney scored in the opening minute to lead Manchester United to a 2-0 victory over QPR at Loftus Road and to the top of the English Premier League standings for a few hours Sunday.
United moved ahead of Manchester City, but its local rival reclaimed first and a two-point cushion with a 1-0 win over Arsenal later Sunday. United won for the sixth time during a seven-game league unbeaten streak.
QPR lost for the fifth time in its last seven and sits just three points above the relegation zone in 15th place.
Rooney got United off to a nice start when fed Antonio Valencia down the right wing and Valencia returned the ball with a cross the England striker lunged to head into the net for his 12th league goal, good enough for second in the EPL.
Carrick added the second after a mistake from QPR's Joey Barton, and he sent a shot from the edge of the area past Radek Cerny in the 56th to secure a United win.
Birmingham, England - Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel had goals in a 4-minute span of the first half and Liverpool defeated Aston Villa, 2-0, at Villa Park for its fifth road win in the English Premier League this season.
Bellamy opened the scoring after 11 minutes, and Skrtel followed in the 15th. Liverpool could have easily had a few more goals, as Luis Suarez hit the post and the crossbar in Liverpool's third win in its last five overall.
Liverpool scored the opener when Suarez made Villa goalie Brad Guzan spill his shot, and Bellamy fired home the rebound. The visitors added their second goal - also off a corner - when Skrtel reached Bellamy's cross to head home.
Villa was without suspended Gabriel Agbonlahor and injured Darren Bent and its offense struggled, rarely threatening Liverpool, which has allowed a league- low 13 goals this season.
Liverpool level on points with Arsenal for fifth place, but sits sixth on goal differential.
Tottenham 1, Sunderland 0
London, England - Roman Pavlyuchenko scored in the 61st minute as Tottenham rebounded from a defeat to Stoke City with a 1-0 win over Sunderland on Sunday at White Hart Lane in the English Premier League.
Tottenham had won six straight games and was unbeaten in 11 before the loss to Stoke, but did enough to win for the seventh time in its last eight to move up to third place, two points clear of Chelsea ahead of their showdown Thursday.
Chelsea was held to a 1-1 tie at Wigan on Saturday, and Pavlyuchenko delivered the only goal Spurs needed after a through ball from Rafael van der Vaar set him up for a right-footed finish to the lower-left corner.
Sunderland snapped a five-match winless streak last time out, but suffered its fourth loss in its last six. Sunderland is just one point above the drop zone.