Manchester United moved five points clear at the Premier League summit after a 1-0 home win over Bolton, while Arsenal drew 2-2 at West Brom.
With the Gunners dropping points in their game at The Hawthorns, United's result was the perfect tonic for Sir Alex Ferguson in the week that he was handed a five-game ban for comments made after the recent loss to Chelsea.
United did it the hard way after being reduced to 10 men on 76 minutes when Jonny Evans saw red for an ugly lunge on Bolton's Stuart Holden.
But the hosts regrouped and claimed all the points when Berbatov capitalised on a horrendous spill by Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to tuck home the winner two minutes from time.
Arsenal have suffered a miserable few weeks with defeat in the Carling Cup final followed by exits from both the Champions League and FA Cup, and on Saturday it was the turn of their league form to suffer as West Brom held them to a 2-2 draw.