Ryan Giggs demonstrated his enduring value to Manchester United with the opening goal in a 2-0 home win over Everton on Sunday that put his side almost out of sight in the title race.
The 39-year-old Welshman slotted his side in front after 13 minutes to continue his extraordinary feat of having scored in every Premier League season since its inception 21 years ago.
Robin van Persie was also on target for United before halftime as the leaders took full advantage of champions Manchester City's shock 3-1 defeat at Southampton on Saturday.
With 12 games remaining Alex Ferguson's side have 65 points, 12 more than City, and are closing in on a 20th league title.
At the other end of the table, Aston Villa claimed a vital 2-1 home victory over West Ham United to move out of the bottom three, Christian Benteke and Charles N'Zogbia the scorers.