Manchester United extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points after a thrilling 4-3 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford.
The match at Old Trafford was the perfect advertisement as to why the Premier League is the best league in the world. End to end action from the first whistle, lots of goals and controversy.
James Perch gave Newcastle a shock 5th minute lead when David de Gea parried Demba Ba’s long-range shot right into the path of the Newcastle player. Poor, poor goalkeeping.
But United were soon back on level terms when Jonny Evans scored from close range after Krul had made a good save to deny Hernandez.
Confusion shrouded Newcastle’s second, which was initially disallowed for offside against Cisse after Evans had directed the ball into his own net. But having ruled out the goal, referee Mike Dean overturned his own decision after consulting the linesman as Cisse had not connected with the ball. Fergie had a right go at the referee and linesman and I would not be surprised if he got a touchline ban for his rants.
In a thrilling second-half Patrice Evra brought United back level before a fine finish from Papiss Cisse had the toon army once again thinking of victory.
A Robin van Persie goal tied things up and when Javier Hernandez missed two sitters in the last five minutes it looked like it would be a draw. But then in the 91st-minute Michael Carrick found Hernandez with a brilliant pass and United had all three points.
The win became even more important for United as champions Manchester City surprisingly lost 1-0 at Sunderland.
And it was former City player Adam Johnson who sunk his old team, although his effort should have been saved by Joe Hart. City bossed the game but could not find a way past Simon Mignolet in Sunderland’s goal.
City have to start to look out for the fast-charging Chelsea who moved to within four points of City (plus they have a game in hand) after they beat Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road thanks to a superb finish from Juan Mata.
At the other end of the table QPR slipped to the second defeat of the week, as they lost 2-1 at home to West Brom. It is not going Harry Redknapp’s way at the moment as Rangers should have had a an injury-time penalty when Liam Ridgewell handled the ball. If QPR go down by a point, they will point back to that non-call.
Reading are off the bottom, albeit on goal difference as they drew 0-0 at home to Swansea.
Southampton stayed one point above the drop zone as Rickie Lambert struck an 86th-minute penalty to secure a vital point in a 1-1 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage. Dimitar Berbatov gave Fulham the lead.
Elsewhere, Everton beat Wigan 2-1 and Spurs beat Aston Villa 4-0 at Villa Park thanks to a Gareth Bale hat-trick. That is 12 goals conceded in a week by Paul Lambert’s side.