Manchester United had been going through a frustrating time at the turn of the year after three draws in a row with Leicester, Southampton and Burnley.
However, with Manchester City finally losing a game at the weekend - thanks to their bitter rivals Liverpool no less - Man United had great incentive heading into their fixture with Stoke on Monday night.
On top of City's stumble, Chelsea missed the chance to leapfrog the Red Devils in the table after they were held at home to Leicester on Saturday.
United were 2-0 up at halftime against the Potters on Monday Night Football thanks to strikes from Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial, via two Paul Pogba assists.
Pogba was running the show at Old Trafford and now has as many assists as Kevin De Bruyne in the Premier League with nine, but in around 900 less minutes.
Valencia isn't a regular scorer for Jose Mourinho's men by any means, especially now that he operates from full-back.
But his goal on Monday night was something special and exactly the way the Ecuadorian would have wanted to return to the fold after injury.
Mourinho's reaction to the strike said everything:
Valencia has been known as a bit one-footed down the years, but this left-footed effort was something any natural left-sider would be proud of.
Of course, United's fans picked up on the rarity of the feat and flooded Twitter with their disbelief.
United now find themselves 11 points behind their City rivals at the top of the Premier League and while the gap is still sizable, the red half of Manchester has to believe that the gap can be closed even more as the season ticks on.
United totally dominated Stoke and the performances of Pogba, Martial and even Luke Shaw drew the most attention form the United fans on Twitter.
Shaw was starting his sixth game in a row for the club after looking like he was heading for the exit ahead of the January transfer window.
If he did move, it seems like Valencia would be a natural to slot in at left-back now!
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