Another big weekend in the race for the Premier League title; as it happened
This Sunday’s Premier League fixtures were always going to have a massive impact on the destiny of the Premier League title.
It was not a promising start for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, who knew a win meant they could clinch the title at the Etihad next week.
An impressive looping header by Nikica Jelavic at the near post nestled into the net at David de Gea’s far post and was enough to derail United’s title ambitions, if only for eight minutes. Rooney was on hand to continue his impressive season, nodding home to pull his side level with the Toffees.
A sensational second-half strike from Danny Welbeck made it 2-1 and he then provided two assists, setting up Rooney and Nani either side of a wonderful volleyed goal by Marouane Fellaini.
An 83rd-minute goal by Jelavic gave Everton hope at 4-3 and the goal by Steven Pienaar just two minutes later saw Everton fans erupt in jubilation as the majority of Old Trafford sat in stunned silence.
The impetus had shifted to the blue side of Manchester and this was reflected on the faces on United players as they left the pitch.
However, Wolves needed to win to avoid relegation and their tenacity meant it took more than 20 minutes for the deadlock to be broken.
Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero saw shots skim either post, whilst a David Davis shot stung the palms of Joe Hart, who did well to beat the ball away.
City grew in confidence, and by the 26th minute were worth their goal. A perfectly-weighted pass from Gael Clichy found Aguero, who made no mistake from just yards out.
Terry Connor cut a dejected figure on the sideline as City continued to press, with their second goal seemingly inevitable.
Despite this, it was Connor’s team that almost clawed themselves back into the tie; Stephen Fletcher forced Hart into a sharp save from close range.
Roberto Mancini swapped Nigel De Jong for David Silva, signifying City’s intention to preserve a lead, instead of chasing an even healthier goal difference.
Only a win was good enough for Wolves, who were punished as they pushed for an equaliser. Nasri led the queue of players waiting to tap in following a quick City free kick, and finished calmly.
The match ended 2-0, meaning Wolves are relegated. Not a vintage performance from City, but enough to keep their dream alive and to ensure a tantalising tie at the Etihad in a week’s time.
Elsewhere in the league, Everton’s day got better and better; their well-earned point all the more important after Liverpool lost 1-0 to West Brom, courtesy of a Peter-Odemwingie goal putting them in pole position to finish ahead of their Merseyside rivals.