Manchester United may have to wait a little longer to reclaim the Premier League title after being held to 2-2 draw at West Ham United, while Manchester City won 1-0 against Wigan Athletic on Wednesday.
Alex Ferguson’s team were below their best for long periods at Upton Park and needed Robin van Persie’s late strike to rescue a point.
Second-placed City took advantage of United’s slip, with Carlos Tevez netting the winner in their FA Cup final rehearsal at Eastlands.
That allowed the champions to close the gap on the leaders to 13 points, meaning Ferguson’s club can only win their 20th title in the next round of fixtures if City lose to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and United beat Aston Villa on Monday.
It was Sam Allardyce’s team who looked more motivated in the early stages as they took the lead in the 16th minute.
Andy Carroll met Matt Jarvis’ cross with a header down to Ricardo Vaz Te and the striker headed in from close-range for his first goal since October last year.
Ferguson’s team drew level in the 31st minute when Shinji Kagawa skipped through the Hammers’ defense and crossed for Antonio Valencia to tap in his first goal of the season.
Ferguson still ended the half furious, as a fearsome challenge from Carroll pole-axed United goalkeeper David De Gea.
There was no sign of an improvement in Ferguson’s mood when West Ham moved ahead thanks to Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame’s brilliant curling strike from the edge of the area.
However, Van Persie earned United a share of the spoils when he fired into the roof of the net after Kagawa’s shot hit both posts and rebounded to the Dutch forward.
At Eastlands, City had to ride their luck before making the most of United’s sloppy display.
Wigan reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history on Saturday and they took the game to Wembley Stadium opponents City in the first half.
Arouna Kone and Franco Di Santo squandered chances to give Wigan a shock lead in the first half, while Callum McManaman was unable to convert a second-half opportunity.
However, City made it five wins from their last six matches when Argentina forward Tevez lashed into the top corner in the 83rd minute.
The defeat left Wigan stuck in the relegation zone and three points from safety, but with a game in hand of their rivals.
Chelsea climbed to third place as John Terry’s double inspired a 3-0 win at Fulham.
Rafael Benitez’s team bounced back from the disappointment of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat against Manchester City in emphatic fashion.
Brazilian defender David Luiz marked his 100th Chelsea appearance by opening the scoring in the 30th minute with a superb long-range strike.
Chelsea captain Terry, back in the starting lineup along with Frank Lampard after both missed the semi-final, headed in the second from Juan Mata’s cross two minutes before halftime.
Terry struck again in the 71st minute with a header from Fernando Torres’ cross.
The Blues are now one point ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal and three ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race to qualify for the Champions League.
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