It seems as if Manchester City will have to scrap for a Champions League place as they now trail United by eight points after this defeat.
Roberto Mancini may feel his team deserved a draw as despite trailing at half-time they had probably edged the first 45 minutes but found themselves a goal down just before the break.
The visitor’s got their deserved equaliser on 65 minutes, even if it was tinged with a slice of fortune.
Edin Dzeko had the initial shot which hit David Silva on the back and then into goal. At this stage the visiting City fans could only hope their record of only winning one of their last 26 league visits to Old Trafford would be about to be doubled.
Just as it seemed City might get something out of the game the previously undistinguished Rooney conjured up a fabulous volleyed goal with 12 minutes remaining.
Again United failed to impress but still came away with the three points which is often the mark of would-be champions and certainly boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be delighted with the outcome.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Venue: Old Trafford
Man Utd scorers: Nani 41, Rooney 78
Man City scorers: Silva 65
01 Van der Sar
08 Anderson (Berbatov 67)
11 Giggs (yellow card)
18 Scholes (yellow card) (Carrick 79)
04 Kompany (yellow card)
13 Kolarov (Wright-Phillips 53)
07 Milner (yellow card) (Dzeko 60)
42 Y Toure
28 K Toure,