Gabriel Jesus’s early strike was enough to beat Sheffield United and send Manchester City four points clear at the top.
Fine work from Ferran Torres to work his way through two United players inside the area before cutting back for the striker to tap home after just nine minutes.
City have 44 points from 20 games with Manchester United, who are at Arsenal later on Saturday, on 40 points from the same number of games.
Jesus slotted home from close range after Ferran Torres took advantage of poor defending from United to wriggle free of two players and pick out his unmarked team mate.
Sheffield United had arrived at the Etihad on the back off their shock 2-1 win at Old Trafford against Manchester United and delivered another solid and organised display.
City had over 75% possession but struggled to create many real openings although Sheffield keeper Aaron Ramsdale did well in the 72nd minute to keep out a fine drive from Oleksandr Zinchenko and Aymeric Laporte’s effort a minute later.
The Yorkshire side, still rooted to the foot of the table on eight points, went close to an equaliser with a late John Fleck drive that flashed past the post.