Mon, Apr 23, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Man United held to a draw by Boro


Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, right, is held back by Middlesbrough's Andrew Davies during their English Premier League soccer match Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Saturday.


Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Middlesbrough on Saturday, dropping two points in the Premier League title race.

United midfielder Kieran Richardson gave the hosts the lead in the third minute, but Mark Viduka headed Middlesbrough level in the 45th.

The Red Devils are seeking their first English title since 2003.

"It opens the door, no question about that," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "We knew that if we made mistakes, they'd have an ability to come back at us. It's a big task now."

Jermaine Jenas scored an injury-time equalizer to give Tottenham a 2-2 draw with Arsenal, and Liverpool beat Wigan 2-0 to ensure they will finish in the top four and play in next season's Champions League. Dirk Kuyt scored twice for Rafa Benitez's side.

At the other end of the table, Watford were relegated after a 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

Also on Saturday, it was: Bolton 1, Reading 3; Charlton 1, Sheffield United 1; Fulham 1, Blackburn 1; Watford 1, Manchester City 1; and West Ham 1, Everton 0.

Man United took the lead when Richardson scored after a pass from Wayne Rooney. Richardson came off at half-time with an injury.

Viduka equalized by beating United defender Wes Brown with a diving header from a cross by Stewart Downing.

Rooney had several late chances and Michael Carrick watched an 89th-minute shot go over the bar as United dominated but could not find a winner.

United defender Rio Ferdinand went off at half-time with a groin injury and was struggling shortly before Viduka's goal.

"Rio was limping and just couldn't get to it," said Ferguson, who added the defender would be sidelined for two weeks. "The injuries killed us today in the first half."

United and Chelsea play each other in the league at Stamford Bridge on May 9 -- the first of three possible matchups. There is also the FA Cup final on May 19 and they could meet four days later in the Champions League final. The first legs of the semi-finals are this week -- United host AC Milan and Chelsea play visiting Liverpool.

Emmanuel Adebayor headed Arsenal into a 2-1 lead at White Hart Lane in the 78th minute.

Tottenham went ahead in the 30th when Robbie Keane scored with a close-range header. It was Keane's fifth goal in five games. Kolo Toure made it 1-1 in the 64th, heading into the corner after a free kick from Cesc Fabregas.

"We were stupid to allow those goals and we must stop that if we want to achieve something," Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov said.

The last time Tottenham beat Arsenal in any competition was 2-1 in the league at White Hart Lane in November 1999.

Kuyt scored for Liverpool in the 30th and 68th minutes. Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez had one eye on the Champions League match and did not start captain Steven Gerrard in a league match for the first time in a year. Gerrard came on in the 70th minute.

"I think things are very positive for the club now that we are certain of being in the top four and the Champions League," Benitez said.

Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster helped Manchester City take the lead in the 53rd minute, with a pass intended for a teammate instead falling to City striker Darius Vassell, who scored into an empty net.

Tamas Priskin equalized in the 75th, but Watford needed a win to avoid relegation.

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