Sunderland continued their sensational form by beating Manchester United 1-0 to relegate Fulham and Cardiff City from the Premier League.
A draw at Manchester City and a win over Chelsea preceded last weekend's vital 4-0 triumph for Sunderland against Cardiff and Gus Poyet's men made it 10 points from the last 12 on offer thanks to Sebastian Larsson's first-half volley.
Defeats to Stoke City and Newcastle United respectively meant Fulham and Cardiff's fates were sealed, while Emanuele Giaccherini and Fabio Borini both hit the United woodwork in the closing stages.
Sunderland now hold a three-point lead over third-bottom Norwich City - who take on Chelsea on Sunday in their penultimate game - and a vastly superior goal difference.
Following a vibrant 4-0 win over Norwich last Sunday, interim United manager Ryan Giggs crashed back down to earth as a lacklustre display that allowed the visitors to claim a first league win at Old Trafford since May 1968.
A combination of illness and a minor groin injury kept Wayne Rooney on the sidelines - the only enforced change of five made by Giggs to his starting XI.
Former United defender John O'Shea almost turned Michael Carrick's 16th-minute cross into his own goal, while Nani fizzed over and Patrice Evra headed a 20th-minute corner into Vito Mannone's arms - though clear-cut chances were at a premium.
However, United's early lethargy remained and the travelling supporters were able to enliven a pensive Old Trafford atmosphere when Sunderland took a 30th-minute lead.
Darren Fletcher allowed in-form striker Connor Wickham to send over a cross from the right and Larsson sent a controlled volley into the bottom-left corner.
Sunderland winger Adam Johnson twice failed to capitalise on poor clearances from goalkeeper David de Gea as United staggered towards the interval in disarray.
United's pedestrian tempo continued after the break but Johnson switched off to allow the overlapping Evra into the box and his 50th-minute centre was superbly cleared behind by Wes Brown with Javier Hernandez poised to convert.
Nemanja Vidic headed wide when the resulting corner was worked back into the area and Sunderland suddenly found themselves defending perilously deep.
Activity in front of the away team's goal became somewhat frantic and Carrick and Vidic were both unable to force headers home when Phil Jones chipped towards the back post.
Sunderland almost made the points safe on an increasingly rare foray forward after 71 minutes - substitute Giaccherini hitting the post before Jack Colback crashed the rebound into the side netting.
By that stage, Giggs had also called for considerable reinforcements in the form of Adnan Januzaj, Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie and the latter almost enjoyed a dream return from his knee injury but prodded wide from Jones' delivery.
Fellow striker Hernandez skied over from Evra's 81st minute cutback before Borini came agonisingly close to compounding United's misery, striking the woodwork with De Gea rooted to the spot.
Reports this week suggested Van Persie's countryman Louis van Gaal is the front-runner to become David Moyes' permanent successor at Old Trafford and he may have a major overhaul on his hands on this evidence.
|Coach: R. Giggs|
for Nani 52'
for Mata 66'
for A. Young 67'
|Scotland v Qatar: Hosts focused on football amid controversy|
|Lack of action may force Britton out of Swansea|
|Sunderland´s Johnson pleads not guilty to underage sex charges|
|Wilshere charged for Spurs taunts|
|Emotional Benitez vows not to change approach at Real|
|Garay wants to help Messi to Copa America glory|
|South Africa repeat denial over bribery claims|
|Interpol issues Red Notices for Warner and Leoz|
|Fellaini: United will be title challengers next season|
|Burnley expect Dyche stay|
|Premier League´s top four paid almost £100m each|
|Tuchel out to write ´new chapter´ at Dortmund|
|United wanted me to sit out PSV games - Depay|
|Platini cancels UEFA meeting following Blatter resignation|
|Lucas signs PSG extension|
|Barcelona like watching Pavarotti, says former Juve boss Capello|
|Southampton must use Koeman´s European experience - Fonte|
|Defoe highlights quartet as potential Advocaat replacements|
|Benitez takes Real reins|
|Result no concern for Herrera in Peru friendly|
|Lowy defends Australia´s bid for 2022 World Cup|
|Belgium close to major final - Pfaff|
|Chile v El Salvador: Sampaoli´s men search for form|
|Qatar hit back at Dyke|
|Monreal happy at Arsenal|
|Van Persie hints at United exit|
|Zico may run for FIFA presidency|
|Castro: Emery has Napoli offer|
|Schafer finalises Jamaica squad|
|US Soccer, FFA welcome Blatter resignation|
|Blatter decision unrelated to corruption allegations - daughter|
|CONCACAF ready to help rebuild FIFA|
|Champions League Final: Luis Enrique worried about Juve, Italian fan nears end of Berlin bike ride|
|Essien joins Panathinaikos|
|Blatter in profile: A look back on 17 years at the top of world football|
|Demichelis set for international retirement after Copa|
|Football world reacts to Blatter resignation|
|Blackpool turn to McDonald|
|Blatter resignation: How the FIFA scandal unfolded|
|Ancelotti rejects Milan approach|
|Platini: Blatter resignation ´the right decision´|
|Swiss Attorney General: Blatter not under investigation|
|Blatter resignation can inspire FIFA change - Scala|
|Mohsni faces lengthy SFA ban|
|Sepp Blatter: Resignation speech in full|
|Blatter to resign as FIFA president|
|Adkins named Sheffield United manager|
|Juve talks ongoing - Witsel|
|Costa has no intention of leaving Chelsea|
|Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain season review - Blanc´s men make history|
|Luis Enrique ´worried´ by Juve|
|Mourinho: Costa happy at Chelsea|
|Mourinho hits out at ´unacceptable´ Loftus-Cheek display|
|Inter an ´option´ for Richards|
|Messi: Off-field relationship with Neymar and Suarez key|
|Remy rifle seals Sydney win for Chelsea|
|Messi could replicate Bilbao goal - Luis Enrique|
|Liverpool mauling a boost in transfer market, says Stoke chairman Coates|
|Adkins: Football can learn a lot from rugby|
|Celtic swoop for City defender Boyata|
|Xavi out to sign off in style at Barca|
|Criscito and Poli leave Italy squad|
|Lacazette plays down ´unfounded´ PSG rumours|
|Lloris: No buy-out clause in Tottenham contract|
|Newcastle released Taylor and Gutierrez in same phone call|
|Alba signs new Barcelona deal|
|Benteke coy on Villa future|
|FIFA denies Valcke involvement in $10million payment|
|Brazil selection never influenced, says technical director|
|Pogba doing ´great things´ and will get better, says Deschamps|
|Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund season review - Klopp endures rocky farewell|
|Adler ´aged three years´, Labbadia ´extremely proud´ of Hamburg|
|Colombia squad settles in Argentina|
|Balotelli ´a target´ because of Liverpool form - Richards|
|Bosnich: If I´d listened to Terry I would have avoided drugs|
|Luiz Gustavo ruled out of Brazil´s Copa America squad|
|Mexico confirm Copa squad|
|Pogba ´very happy´ at Juve|
|Pogba can be Europe´s greatest - Pirlo|
|Pinedo stays in Argentina, Bolivia captain Raldes in Copa America squad|
|Quinteros cuts Banguera, Hidalgo for Chile showpiece|
|Injured Gonzalez misses Copa America, Venezuela finalise youthful squad|
|Champions League Final: Buffon plays down Juve hopes, Iniesta doubtful|
|Karlsruher 1 Hamburg 2 (2-3 agg): Muller strike ensures survival|
|CONCACAF official Sanz banned by FIFA|
|Gourvennec shuns admirers with Guingamp extension|
|Pastore signs PSG extension|
|Morel swaps Marseille for Lyon|
|Watford sign Austria defender Prodl|
|Monaco confirm Berbatov departure|
|Peru v Mexico: Herrera confident as Copa preparations continue|
|Injury rules Dost out of Netherlands friendlies|
|Koeman must strengthen attack for Europa League challenge - McMenemy|
|Wilshere apologises for Spurs taunts|
|Marchisio: No fear ahead of Barcelona clash|
|Klopp to take break after leaving Dortmund|
|Champions League win would be ´more than extraordinary´ - Allegri|
|Charity calls for education after Leicester ´racist orgy´ claims|
|Taylor agrees Swansea deal|
|Sevilla snare Krohn-Dehli|
|Coloccini hails Gutierrez after ´perfect´ Newcastle finale|
|Benitez excited by Madrid opportunity|
|Sampaoli confirms final Chile squad for Copa America|
|Clement ready to go it alone at Derby|
|Mihajlovic confirms Sampdoria exit|
|Brentford turn to Dijkhuizen|
|Usami, Moto to lead Japan qualifying threat|
|Vieira ´the best bet´ for Newcastle - Bernard|
|´We´ll see what happens with my future´ - De Gea|
|Klinsmann: Guzan will start at Gold Cup|
|Alves wants Barca extension not PSG - Blanc|
|Derby appoint Paul Clement as head coach|
|Karlsruher ´can only win´ - Kauczinski|
|Ronaldinho causes stir with disallowed goal|
|Szczesny plans Arsenal stay|
|Pioli: Lazio deserve Champions League qualification|
|Pablo Aimar makes River Plate return|
|MLS Review: Seattle leave it late against Red Bulls|
|Wenger: Arsenal won´t spend big|
|Police to investigate Rangers-Motherwell fight|
|´I will definitely stay´ at City - Toure|
|Champagne backs Blatter to reform FIFA|
|Honduras 2 El Salvador 0: Penalty, goal and red card to Lozano|
|Mancini wants Icardi to stay|
|Sampdoria set to speak on Mihajlovic future|