David Silva scored the only goal in the 53rd minute at the Etihad Stadium against  Arsenal.

Story highlights

David Silva goal gives Manchester City 1-0 win over Arsenal

Champions Manchester United easy 2-0 winners at QPR

Tottenham Hotspur in third place after 1-0 home win over Sunderland

Aston Villa fans jeer team after 2-0 home loss to Liverpool

CNN  — 

Manchester City retained their leadership of the English Premier League as a David Silva goal settled a high-class clash against Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium Sunday.

Champions and city rivals Manchester United had gone a point clear with an earlier 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, but City responded with their eighth straight league victory in their home stadium.

Sergio Aguero wasted a great chance for City as they made a strong opening, but they had to wait until the 53rd minute to make the breakthrough.

Mario Balotelli’s shot was pushed out by Wojceich Szczesny and Silva reacted quickest to prod the ball home.

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Pablo Zabaleta saw his shot rattle the Arsenal post, but the visitors played their part in a pulsating encounter.

Central defender Thomas Vermaelen drew a fingertip save from Joe Hart as the clock counted down and then saw another curling effort go inches wide.

But Roberto Mancini’s men held on for the win to restore their two points advantage over United.

“It was massive for us, we didn’t underestimate the importance of this game and we’re happy with the result and to keep a clean sheet,” said City captain Vincent Kompany.

Alex Ferguson’s men were on the front foot at Loftus Road from the moment Wayne Rooney headed home their opener inside the first minute.

Midfielder Michael Carrick grabbed his first goal for United in 70 games to wrap up the win in the second half.

Tottenham Hotspur moved back into third place with a 1-0 win over Sunderland, but saw winger Aaron Lennon limp off after a hamstring tear in the first half.

His replacement Roman Pavlyunchenko scored the only goal just after the hour mark after clever work by Rafael van der Vaart.

Liverpool maintained their push for a Champions League spot with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa whose fans vented their frustration at manager Alex McLeish.

Craig Bellamy opened the scoring and then set up Martin Skrtel with a 15th minute corner to put Kenny Dalglish’s team on course for a fifth away win of the season.

They are now level on points and goal difference with fifth-placed Arsenal.