After Kolo Toure canceled out Nenad Milijas’ opener for Wolves, City went 4-1 ahead in the second half through Carlos Tevez’s double and Yaya Toure’s strike. But Kevin Doyle and Ronald Zubar gave City a scare by reducing the deficit.
While City went a point ahead of United, its neighbor plays the first of three games in hand at Tottenham on Sunday.
Chelsea moved into fourth place, ahead of Spurs, by beating Blackburn 2-0 to halt a two-match winless streak as Branislav Ivanovic scored one and then set up Nicolas Anelka for the second.
Arsenal remains third after a 3-0 victory at West Ham, a as a pair of goal from Robin van Persie and one from Theo Walcott heaped more pressure on Avram Grant. Wayne Bridge made his debut for West Ham and was simply terrible.
West Brom moved four points clear of the relegation zone by beating Blackpool 3-2 to end a run of six successive defeats, Bolton suffered its fifth consecutive away defeat as Stoke won 2-0 and Andrew Johnson’s late goal salvaged a 1-1 draw for Fulham at Wigan.