Manchester City’s title hopes are all but over after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sunderland on Wednesday, while Everton’s Champions League dreams hand by a thread after they lost 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace.
City’s title hopes were dealt a serious blow on Sunday, when they lost 3-2 at league leaders Liverpool. But City went into Wednesday’s game knowing that if they won the rest of their games they still had a chance to win the title if Liverpool slipped up.
And those plans seemed to be working when Fernandinho put them in front with a low shot from close range with just two minutes on the clock. However, Sunderland, who lost seven of their last eight league games, would not roll over and stunned the City crowd with two goals in 11 minutes from Connor Wickham in the second half.
But Sunderland could not hold onto the lead and with only two minutes left, Samir Nasri’s low shot squirmed through Vito Mannone’s grasp.
The draw did not help either side as it left City four points off Chelsea and six behind Liverpool with a game in hand on both, while Sunderland are six points off safety with five games left.
Crystal Palace moved ten points clear of the relegation after a 3-2 win at Everton. Everton had a chance to move back ahead of Arsenal into fourth place and the final Champions League place. 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 Everton hope of a comeback 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.