(CNN) -- Manchester United substitute Michael Owen broke Manchester City hearts with a dramatic winning goal deep into injury-time at Old Trafford on Sunday, but Chelsea stayed top of the English Premier League with a 3-0 crushing of London rivals Tottenham.
Owen stole three points for United with his late strike at Old Trafford.
Owen cropped up in the fifth minute of added time to latch on to a Ryan Giggs pass and beat Shay Given with a trademark neat finish to give United a 4-3 victory in a pulsating seven-goal derby.
City hit back to equalize three times, with Crag Bellamy's second in the last minute of normal time looking set to give them a deserved share of the spoils.
Darren Fletcher had put United ahead for the third time with an 80th-minute header, his second of the afternoon, until Bellamy capitalized on a sloppy pass by Rio Ferdinand to race half the length of the pitch to score.
Chelsea finished the day three points clear of United with six wins from six, while City were fourth behind Liverpool after their first defeat in five outings.
Tottenham dropped to sixth on goal difference behind Aston Villa, while Everton moved out of the bottom three with a 3-0 win at home to Blackburn and Wolverhampton climbed to 12th with a 2-1 victory against Fulham.
Big-spending City's title credentials faced a real litmus test at the home of their biggest rivals, and they seemed to have passed -- only to be let down by defensive frailties as United continually upped the ante.
United made a storming start to the proceedings, and with only two minutes on the clock Wayne Rooney took advantage of indecision in the City defense to score.
A quick free-kick by the superlative Giggs, playing in his 30th Manchester derby, saw him find Patrice Evra inside the penalty area.
The Frenchman picked out Rooney whose clever control saw him elude weak challenges, and he fired past Given from close range.
It might have been the signal for an easy home victory, but the visitors established a foothold in the game before a calamitous mistake by United goalkeeper Ben Foster handed them a lifeline.
Under a challenge from former teammate Carlos Tevez on the edge of the penalty area, the England international tried to dribble round the Argentine only to be robbed of the ball.
Tevez played the ball into the path of Gareth Barry, who chose his spot from 20 meters to beat the despairing dive of Nemanja Vidic.
Tevez missed a golden opportunity to put City ahead just before halftime as Kolo Toure intercepted a Rooney pass to charge forward. His neat pass fell invitingly for Tevez, but his shot thumped against the post.
United went ahead within seconds of the restart as Evra and Giggs combined down the left and Fletcher headed past Given at the far post.
But once again City did not allow United to lead for long as Bellamy cut in from the left and beat Foster with a stunning drive.
The goal sparked United into a spell of total domination and in quick succession Given made stunning saves to deny close range headers from Dimitar Berbatov, then tipped over a volley drive by the rampant Giggs.
Fletcher's header from another pinpoint Giggs cross looked to have settled the affair with 10 minutes left until Ferdinand's error set up an incredible finale, his blushes spared by Owen, who has rarely featured in league action since his arrival on a free transfer in the summer transfer window.
Chelsea continued coach Carlo Ancelotti's perfect start since leaving AC Milan in May, but Tottenham will feel aggrieved that referee Howard Webb did not award a penalty at 1-0 -- and the home side almost immediately doubled their lead.
England fullback Ashley Cole gave his side a 32nd-minute lead when he stooped to head home Didier Drogba's cross as his marker Vedran Corluka was caught ball-watching.
Spurs lost influential defender Ledley King to a recurrence of his long-term knee problems two minutes after halftime, but should have leveled when Ricardo Carvalho clearly clipped the heels of Robbie Keane just outside the six-yard box in the 54th minute.
However, Webb waved play-on -- but did not book the striker for diving, despite the Irishman's anguished pleas.
Chelsea took full advantage as Michael Ballack scrambled in the second goal three minutes later after Frank Lampard cut the ball back when Carlo Cudicini could only parry Drogba's shot.
Drogba made it 3-0 on 63 minutes after collecting Cole's long ball and holding off Corluka before rounding Cudicini to slot into the empty net.
Tottenham had French defender Sebastien Bassong stretchered off after an awkward fall, while Drogba was also replaced as he hurt himself while scuffing a shot.
Two goals from Louis Saha, who was sent off on Thursday, and another from defender Joseph Yobo -- who also scored against the Greeks -- lifted David Moyes' team to 13th place.
Promoted Wolves registered their first home win of the season as summer signing Kevin Doyle scored his first goal for the club and David Edwards added a second just after halftime.
Fulham, who drew 1-1 in midweek away to Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia, pulled one back with a penalty from captain Danny Murphy midway through the second half.