As the Premier League's Mancunian masters marched on this weekend, the rest of the table saw plenty of excitement.
Chelsea kept pace with the help of a very generous opponent, Reading completed a remarkable comeback and Southampton sustained a recent run of form.
Meanwhile, Villa lost again, Spurs and Everton stumbled and Arsenal fell apart early.
Which Premier League teams saw their stock rise this weekend? Whose stock fell? Keep reading to find out.
Chelsea's on-field fortunes have fluctuated lately, and the contrast has been especially telling over the last two league matches.
On Saturday, Rafa Benitez's men benefited from two own goals (more on that momentarily) on the way to dismantling Stoke City 4-0 at the Britannia Stadium. It was an away performance to satisfy even the Rafa haters who have defied appeasement.
Yet, only 10 days earlier, Chelsea slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against bottom club Queens Park Rangers. One could almost be forgiven for wondering whether Chelsea—apart from the 8-0 destruction of Aston Villa—prefer playing away from the "comforts" of the home crowd at Stamford Bridge.
The upcoming week, a crucial one for Chelsea's hopes of closing the gap on the Manchester duo, could prove revealing. A home match against suddenly-hot Southampton (more on that momentarily as well) on Wednesday is followed by Arsenal's visit to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Win both and Chelsea could be breathing down Manchester City's neck.
Stoke City lost 4-0 at home to Chelsea on Saturday, bringing their recent defensive record to 10 goals conceded in three matches.
It's hard to know which is more incredible.
Is it that the Potters had allowed only 14 goals in their previous 19 games before this recent three-match run?
Or is that Jonathan Walters scored twice on his own goal and missed a penalty in the same match?
We'll opt for the latter, in a tight decision.
Southampton won 1-0 at Aston Villa on Saturday, with Rickie Lambert scoring the lone goal (his ninth of the season) from the penalty spot.
In addition to handing the Saints three valuable points against a relegation rival, victory also stretched Southampton's recent run of unbeaten form to six matches (and 10 out of their last 11).
Paul Lambert says it's too early to panic (via Sky Sports), but everyone at Aston Villa must be concerned following Saturday's home loss to Southampton.
Saturday's defeat put Lambert's team in the relegation zone on goal difference. Since beating Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield on Dec. 15, Villa have lost four of five matches and been outscored 18-2.
Only 16 games remain for Lambert to fix what's becoming a disastrous first season in England's second city.
Queens Park Rangers held Tottenham Hotspur to a scoreless draw on Saturday in a London derby at Loftus Road. The draw was the latest positive result in a recent turnaround—QPR have collected 10 points in their last nine matches under Harry Redknapp—but there's just one glaring problem.
QPR still lie five points adrift of safety, and both Reading and Southampton won over the weekend. Nine points from 10 matches represents progress, but more is needed if Rangers are to avoid relegation.
All the same, progress is progress, and that's exactly what Redknapp has brought to West London.
Reading scored three times in the final 10 minutes to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 home win over West Brom on Saturday.
Though it's far too early to tell, such a remarkable comeback could be the spark Brian McDermott and his team need to avoid relegation. After their third win of the season, the Royals are now three points away from safety.
In addition to scoring a goal and helping Wigan to a valuable point at Fulham, Franco Di Santo now finds himself the subject of transfer rumors (via Daily Mail).
Imagine that. Score a few goals and just about anyone can be a coveted transfer commodity.
Before Sunday, Manchester City hadn't won at Arsenal in the league since 1975, and hadn't even scored at the Emirates since DaMarcus Beasley's goal there in 2007.
Yes, Laurent Koscielny's sending off changed the game, and Arsenal might have performed better if they hadn't played the crucial opening stages on equal footing.
But no, suspected Spurs sympathizer Mike Dean didn't beat the Gunners on Sunday. Arsenal simply weren't in City's class, and on current form, it's hard to see them finishing in the top four.
That's probably appropriate. On current form, Koscielny isn't worthy of playing for a top-four club.