Premier League: United begin Rangnick era with 1-0 win over Crystal Palace; Spurs hand Norwich 3-0 loss
The three points lifts United to sixth place in the table, three points behind fourth-placed West Ham.
The Ivory Coast international posted screenshots on Instagram of racist abuse he had received by direct messages following the Premier League match that saw City defender Aymeric Laporte sent off for a foul on the forward.
City are now five points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea and face Manchester United in a derby at Old Trafford next weekend.
Chelsea extended their lead at the top to three points as Reece James scored twice in a 3-0 win at Newcastle.
Despite the absence of their main forwards, Chelsea tore apart bottom of the table Norwich at Stamford Bridge to move two points clear at the top.
A share of the spoils moves Arsenal up to 12th, but the performance did little to suggest they will trouble the contenders for places in next season's Champions League come the end of the season.
The Gunners are languishing in 13th place with 10 points despite the run. Arsenal are immediately above Palace who have 10 points.
United were made to work harder than expected for the three points, but were able to rely on Ronaldo's predatory instincts to strike twice either side of Javier Manquillo's well-worked equaliser.
Nuno Espirito Santo's side had Japhet Tanganga sent off for two bookings in quick succession in the second half at Selhurst Park.
Despite the presence of Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Zaha, Palace once again drew a blank as an 86th minute goal from Ashley Fletcher condemned Vieira to his second defeat.
Over 300,000 fans are expected to attend the opening weekend of the season with full crowds restored following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Townsend, 30, was a free agent after his contract with Crystal Palace expired at the end of last season.
Vieira, who won three Premier League titles as a player with the Gunners, has had mixed results in charge of New York City and Nice in his two previous managerial jobs.
The Belgian has committed himself despite the club being without a manager after Roy Hodgson stepped down at the end of the season.
Premier League: Stage set for dramatic final gameweek as Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester chase top-four finish
Deposed champions Liverpool can salvage a difficult, injury-plagued season by nailing down fourth place when they host Crystal Palace.
Premier League: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp urges them to take destiny in their own hands, finish in top four
Klopp's men are level on points with Leicester but their goal difference is superior, meaning all the Reds have to do at home to Crystal Palace is match the Foxes' result against Tottenham.
The former England manager's contract was due to expire in the close season after another campaign in which he maintained Palace's Premier League status.
England captain Kane fired Spurs ahead on the stroke of half-time before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg doubled their lead in the 62nd minute.
European football matchday: Manchester United look to keep City waiting for title, Barcelona visit Levante
A defeat for second-placed United, who are 10 points behind City with four games remaining, would hand their neighbours the title.
Premier League: Manchester City on brink of securing title as Sergio Aguero, Ferran Torres help beat Crystal Palace
Pep Guardiola's side sit 13 points clear at the top and will be crowned champions if second-placed Manchester United lose against Liverpool on Sunday.