United falter again as City charge on
Man City biggest winners of the weekend as another title rival falters
(Andre Ayew 61, Bafetimbi Gomis 66)
MAN UNITED 1
(Juan Mata 48)
Just three weeks in, the English Premier League appears to be all over bar the shouting.
Manchester City's runaway lead looks set to become increasingly unassailable in the weeks and months ahead.
Manuel Pellegrini's side have been at their most effusive; a rampancy aided by the continued falterings of their chasing pack.
Chelsea's crown has slipped before August even ended. The crisis that surrounds Jose Mourinho's side shows no signs of dissipating while Arsenal, similarly, have seen their renewed assault fall by the wayside in recent weeks.
Momentum is firmly with Manchester's "noisy neighbours".
Across town, Manchester United are all too familiar with the perils of writing off your contemporaries.
Thirty years ago, they were being lauded as champions-elect after embarking on a similar early-season winning streak.
They finished that campaign in a distant fourth place, 11 points adrift of champions Liverpool.
Defeat by Swansea City this morning (Singapore time) is unlikely to provide much succour.
Louis van Gaal's 50th game as United manager was exactly the same as his first. The problems, however, have altered somewhat.
History repeated itself at the Liberty Stadium, as it did for Wayne Rooney.
He heads into potentially a sixth successive game, including last season, waiting for his first EPL goal - a feat last reached in 2006.
Should he fail to find the net against Liverpool in a fortnight's time, he faces the threat of repeating his 2008 and 2012 goal thirsts.
Ahead of his Old Trafford milestone, van Gaal revealed that his decision-making on every fibre of life at United remains subject to Rooney's advice.
The Dutchman may wish to seek his captain's counsel ahead of tomorrow's transfer deadline - if he has not already.
Another striker is likely to be the elephant in the room for the pair.
It is said that a feast often follows a famine.
After Rooney's 878-minute goal drought ended against Club Brugge in the Champions League play-off in midweek, the suspicion was that Swansea would be fresh gluttons for punishment. It never arrived.
There were signs of a potential renaissance; not least when he burst through with just two minutes remaining, only to be thwarted by Ashley Williams' last-ditch interception.
For Rooney, the burden of expectancy transcends club and country.
He could well return from the upcoming international break with Bobby Charlton's England goal-scoring record equalled, if not surpassed.
A further four strikes in Old Trafford colours would see him draw parallel with Denis Law as the club's second-highest scorer.
It is only a matter of time before Charlton's long-standing tally of 249 United goals, currently 16 ahead of Rooney, is bettered.
Yet how long the 29-year-old can remain at the highest level is subject to conjecture.
Much like the flawed succession plan for life after Sir Alex Ferguson, van Gaal has yet to provide a solution to losing Rooney's prolific potency.
Movements over the next 48 hours will be make-or-break for United's season. There's little time left to save it.