Manchester United missed out on the chance to begin the new year on top of the Premier League after suffering a shock 3-2 defeat at home against Blackburn Rovers.
Sir Alex Ferguson turned 70 today but it was a birthday the United manager will want to forget after witnessing his side rally from 2-0 down only to lose to Grant Hanley’s late winner. Yakubu converted a 16th-minute penalty before bustling his way into the area to fire through David De Gea’s legs early in the second half. Dimitar Berbatov, continued his recent goal scoring form with two more goals to bring United level, but a David De Gea howler allowed Rovers to grab all three points.
United remain level on points with Manchester City, who are hoping to move three points clear at the top of the table when they meet Sunderland on Sunday.
Chelsea recent poor from continued as they 3-1 at home against Aston Villa despite taking the lead through a first-half Didier Drogba penalty. But Chelsea’s defensive frailties were exposed in the second-half and goals by Stephen Ireland, Stilyan Petrov and Darren Bent sent André Villas-Boas’s side to their fifth league defeat of the season.
Arsenal moved two points clear of Chelsea into fourth place as Robin van Persie’s 35th league goal of 2011 was enough to beat QPR 1-0. The win lifted the Gunners to within three points of north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who were held 1-1 at Swansea.
Elsewhere Norwich and Bolton shared the same scoreline against Fulham and Wolves respectively, while Stoke City and Wigan drew 2-2.