Man United stutter in pursuit of leaders City

London: Manchester United missed the chance to make significant inroads into Manchester City`s lead at the top of the Premier League after stumbling to a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

United, who led through Javier Hernandez`s early second-half goal, were pegged back by Demba Ba`s controversial penalty which left Alex Ferguson`s side four points behind City who play at Liverpool on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur, with a double from Emmanuel Adebayor, stayed third after coming from behind to win 3-1 at West Bromwich Albion while Chelsea emerged from their recent slump to give under-pressure manager Andre Villas-Boas a huge boost with a 3-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge.

The hosts, who had lost three of their previous four league games and their last two at home, cruised after John Terry, Dean Sturridge and Juan Mata struck before halftime.

Franco Di Santo struck a last-gasp winner to lift Wigan Athletic off the bottom with a 2-1 victory at Sunderland. Blackburn dropped to the basement after losing 3-1 at Stoke City in the lunchtime kickoff.

In-form Arsenal, with five successive league wins, host London rivals Fulham in a 1730 kickoff.

Bureau Report

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