Manchester City and Arsenal both had a player sent off as the former triumphed 2-0 at the Emirates on Sunday.
Laurent Koscielny was sent off early in the game and although Edin Dzeko missed the resultant penalty the Citizens profited by scoring two first half goals.
James Milner notched the first and Dzeko made amends for his failure from the spot as he converted an easy chance and Vincent Kompany saw a straight red in the second half.
With Manchester United having won earlier in the day, City knew that only a win would do as they attempt to stay within touching distance of their rivals.
Their task was made much easier only 10 minutes in as Koscielny dragged down Dzeko in the box and was shown a straight red card.
The Manchester City forward picked himself up and took the penalty but Wojciech Szczesny managed to keep it out with his legs after diving the wrong way.
In the 21st minute City took a quick free-kick and caught the Gunners napping as Carlos Tevez nipped in to play a fine ball to Milner who made no mistake inside the box.
Javi Garcia then headed Gareth Barry’s corner wide of the mark before the visitors got themselves on the scoresheet for a second time.
Milner whipped in a cross just after the half hour mark and Carlos Tevez's shot was palmed out as far as Dzeko who needed to do no more than tap in.
City were happy to just stroll through the remainder of the half with Theo Walcott largely ineffectual up front as he toiled as a lone striker.
After the break the defending champions had another good chance as Milner again delivered a good ball into the area which Dzeko headed over the bar.
The same player then had two efforts blocked at the 10-man Gunners frequently gave possession away inside their own half.
Carlos Tevez was guilty of woeful finishing as the game wore on before Olivier Giroud had his tame effort at the other end lapped up by Joe Hart.
The game evened out to a degree with 15 minutes remaining as Kompany went in two-footed on Jack Wilshere and despite winning the ball was sent for an early shower.
Arsenal did manage to carve out one or two openings in what remained of the game but could not muster a goal with Lescott clearing Walcott’s effort off the line.