Manchester City FC are six points off the Premier League summit after being held to a 2-2 draw at home to rock-bottom Sunderland AFC.
City's hopes of a second top-flight title in three seasons were dealt a serious blow on Sunday, when they lost 3-2 at league leaders Liverpool FC. They looked certain to offer a swift riposte when Fernandinho put them in front with a low shot from close range with just two minutes on the clock. However, Sunderland, defeated in seven of their last eight league games, gave a good account of themselves thereafter. Indeed they were in front midway through the second half thanks to two goals in 11 minutes from Connor Wickham, whose last and only previous Premier League strike came in October 2011.
Samir Nasri's low shot squirmed through Vito Mannone's grasp with two minutes left, and though the France midfielder then missed a fine chance to earn City all three points, Sunderland clung on for a share of the spoils. While City are four points off Chelsea FC and six behind Liverpool with a game in hand on both, the Black Cats are six points off safety with five games left.
Crystal Palace FC, mired in the relegation zone themselves until the appointment of Tony Pulis last November, are now ten points clear of the bottom three following a 3-2 success at Everton FC. The Toffees had the chance to move back ahead of Arsenal FC into fourth – and the final UEFA Champions League qualifying berth – but were 1-0 down at half-time following Jason Puncheon's adept finish.
Scott Dann's free header made it two and though Steven Naismith gave the hosts a sniff with a poacher's effort just after the hour, Palace restored their two-goal advantage through Cameron Jerome's splendid strike. Kevin Mirallas capitalised on a slice of fortune to halve Everton's arrears once more but Roberto Martínez's side, who had won seven league games on the bounce, remain a point behind the Gunners.
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|Last updated: 16/04/2014 22:45 CET|
Wickham 73, 83
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