Chelsea FC bolstered their hopes of playing UEFA Champions League football next season after overcoming Manchester United FC 1-0 to climb back into third place.
The momentum harnessed by the UEFA Europa League finalists elicited an ebullient display at Old Trafford. Demba Ba header over from Juan Mata's delicious cross, while midfielder Oscar concluded a fleet-footed run by hitting the woodwork. United were slow to find their rhythm and when an opportunity came Robin van Persie's way, the prolific Dutchman was unusually wasteful.
The visitors continued to probe in the second half and broke the deadlock three minutes from time. A dizzying counterattack ended with Oscar finding Mata at the back post and the Spain schemer's left-footed strike trickled in via a deflection off Phil Jones. United's frustration was compounded when Rafael received a red card for a late tackle on David Luiz.
Meanwhile, Everton FC look destined to finish above Liverpool FC for a second consecutive season after the Merseyside derby ended 0-0. The home side enjoyed the lion's share of possession but failed to capitalise on a string of opportunities. Visiting goalkeeper Tim Howard twice thwarted Daniel Sturridge from close range and Steven Gerrard had a goal-bound effort blocked by Sylvain Distin to leave Liverpool five points shy of their sixth-placed neighbours.
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|Last updated: 01/07/2013 10:04 CET|
Juan Mata 87
Ruiz 70, 77
|Venue: West Bromwich|
Holt 74 (P)
Agbonlahor 55, 89
|1||Manchester United FC||36||85|
|2||Manchester City FC||35||72|
|5||Tottenham Hotspur FC||35||65|
|8||West Bromwich Albion FC||35||48|
|9||Swansea City AFC||35||43|
|10||West Ham United FC||36||43|
|11||Stoke City FC||35||40|
|13||Aston Villa FC||36||40|
|15||Norwich City FC||36||38|
|16||Newcastle United FC||36||38|
|18||Wigan Athletic FC||35||35|
|20||Queens Park Rangers FC||36||25|