Late delight for the red half of Manchester was contrasted with last gasp despair for the reigning Premier League champions as Sir Alex Ferguson's side secured a vital three points against bitter rivals Liverpool while rivals Manchester City will feel they dropped two points against Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It was by no means plain sailing for Manchester United despite having a man advantage for over half the game after Jonjo Shelvey saw red for a challenge on Jonny Evans just before half-time.
Steven Gerrard broke the deadlock but a rare Rafael strike and a somewhat more predictable Robin van Persie winner means United have assumed pole position as far as the odds are concerned, priced as they are at 13/8 (2.63) with William Hill.
The season is bound to be full of twists and turns. The tag of favourites may be passed between the two sides many times before the destination of the trophy is actually decided but United's resilience will be encouraging for pre-season backers as well as those who have decided now is the time to take the plunge at 13/8 (2.63).
City have been pushed out to an industry best 15/8 (2.88) with William Hill to retain their Premier League title ahead of Chelsea (4/1) and Arsenal (8/1) before the two London clubs clash at Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Manchester clubs dominate the top goalscorer betting too. Robin van Persie is 5/2 (3.50) favourite with William Hill while Carlos Tevez's scoring return to the Manchester City first team have seen him priced at 7/1 (8.0) second favourite with the same firm – that's an industry best price, too.
Fernando Torres is available at 8/1 (9.0) while Sergio Aguero, who made his return to Roberto Mancini's starting line-up against Arsenal, is available at 14/1 (15.0) to finish as the top goalscorer in the division.
Jermain Defoe's impressive start to the season means he's available at 12/1 (13.0) and Lukas Podolski, who appears to have found his feet in north London, is a 20/1 (21.0) shot to claim the award in his first season in the Premier League.
Wayne Rooney's injury-hit start to the campaign mean he is a 20/1 (21.0) shot while Luis Suarez (25/1), Nikica Jelavic (25/1) and Rickie Lambert (33/1) could be of interest to those in search of a value bet or each-way value.
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Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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