Rafael's (L) first-half stunner got United going
Ryan Giggs scored on his 999th senior appearance for club and country to help lift Manchester United 15 points above Manchester City with victory over QPR.
The Welshman secured the win following Rafael's first-half strike when the Brazilian smashed home from 20 yards.
Rafael also showed his worth in defence when he cleared Chris Samba's header off the line, reports the BBC.
QPR improved after the break but Giggs timed his run to tuck in with 10 minutes left and later hit the bar.
Following Loic Remy's stinging shot, saved by David De Gea, Giggs's decisive intervention settled the contest just as it looked like United might suffer a nervous finish.
In the end, they ran out comfortable winners with Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney wasteful late on, and the defeat leaves QPR rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, seven points from safety.
And Arsenal earned some respite after a turbulent week as two Santi Cazorla goals helped them beat relegation-threatened Aston Villa.
Cazorla powered in a low shot to give the hosts a sixth-minute lead.
Arsenal could not make the most of their possession and were punished when poor defending let Andreas Weimann drive in a 22-yard equaliser.
But Nacho Monreal cut the ball across for Cazorla to sidefoot in a winner from 12 yards after 85 minutes.
The victory moved Arsenal to within a point of fourth-placed rivals Tottenham and, even though it was not a convincing win, it will come as a huge relief after home defeats by Blackburn and Bayern Munich in the past seven days.
Fulham 1 - 0 Stoke
Arsenal 2 - 1 Aston Villa
Norwich 2 - 1 Everton
QPR 0 - 2 Man Utd
Reading 0 - 3 Wigan
West Brom 2-1 Sunderland