London: Manchester City went top of the Premier League when they beat Aston Villa 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday after Manchester United dropped two points in a 1-1 draw at Liverpool.
City won with goals from Mario Balotelli, Adam Johnson, Vincent Kompany and James Milner against his former club and moved on to 22 points from their eight matches, two points clear of United who are on 20.
Both City and United have Champions League matches next week before meeting in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Steven Gerrard, making his first start for seven months, put Liverpool ahead with a 68th minute free kick before substitute Javier Hernandez equalised for the champions with an 81st minute header five minutes after coming on.
Third placed Chelsea were playing Everton in a later kickoff 17:30 British time and could move to within a point of United if they win.
Bolton Wanderers moved off the bottom of the table when they ended a run of six successive league defeats with a 3-1 win at fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic.
Blackburn Rovers picked up only their fifth point of the season with a 1-1 draw at Queens Park Rangers who are still looking for their first home win.
Heidar Helguson put QPR ahead after eight minutes before Christopher Samba headed Rovers level.
Norwich City maintained their good start with a 3-1 win over Swansea City in a battle of two of last season`s promoted teams at Carrow Road while Stoke City beat Fulham 2-0 at the Britannia with Jon Walters and Rory Delap scoring in the last 10 minutes.