(Bloomberg) -- Shareholders of Manchester United Plc have the team’s crosstown rivals to thank for the biggest stock gain in more than two months after a wild weekend of soccer in England.

Shares in the decorated English team surged 3.6 percent Monday, after the Red Devils moved closer to a coveted -- and lucrative -- slot in next year’s Champions League tournament. The advance was the biggest since the team fired its long-time manager Dec. 18, following a dismal run.

ManU moved into fourth place of the Premier League after it defeated Fulham Saturday, and then held onto the slot after Manchester City pummeled Chelsea on Sunday. The top four finishers in England’s highest competition participate in the European-wide Champions League the following season.

That adds games that boost revenue for the club, providing money and prestige that can be used to attract and sign star players during transfer season. Shares in the team have surged 13 percent since Dec. 17.

United’s win this weekend was its eighth in the nine league games played under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The run that took it from 11 points out of the top four in December back into the upper levels of the Premier League. There are 12 games left in the regular season.

To contact the reporter on this story: Luke Kawa in New York at lkawa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Randall Jensen

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