Man City keep pace, Blues held
David Silva's magic left boot helped Manchester City move back to within two points of neighbours United at the top of the Premier League table on Sunday, coming from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
It was City who enjoyed the faster start on home soil with Sergio Aguero threatening to get in behind the visitors' defence, but Spurs grew into the contest and struck in the 20th minute. Steven Caulker sent a powerful header goalwards from a free-kick, and the ball squirmed past Joe Hart who really should have got more of his body behind the ball.
Within moments City, who had a huge penalty shout rejected in their midweek draw with Ajax, were left frustrated again as Aguero flicked the ball inside William Gallas, only to see the referee wave away appeals despite the Frenchman's arm clearly stopping Aguero firing off a shot on goal.
Regardless of that moment, City should have levelled just before the break as Silva broke the offside trap. His rolled ball into Carlos Tevez was begging to be buried, but the Argentine's effort was tame.
More frustration followed for City after the interval as Aguero this time found himself clean through, only to completely lose his footing as he attempted to control. Aguero's goal - City's equaliser - came from a much more difficult chance moments later, fooling Caulker as he faked to shoot with his right foot before rolling past Brad Friedel with his left.
The momentum was now with City, and Edin Dzeko went close with a header at a corner before Silva clipped a shot agonisingly wide of the far post. Aguero then drove straight at Friedel with five minutes remaining, but a winner did eventually arrive.
It was Silva who produced the class as he dinked the ball over Tottenham's flat back four, which lined up along the edge of the area, and Dzeko ran in behind to volley high past Friedel for yet another dramatic winner.
Chelsea, however, were left to rue a 1-1 draw against Liverpool and a possible bad injury to skipper John Terry.
The Blues welcomed Terry back into the fold after his racism ban and the defender scored the opener from a corner as he directed his powerful header past Brad Jones. But Terry was stretchered off soon after a clash with Luis Suarez; a nasty looking knee injury could keep him out for some time.
Liverpool took advantage of Chelsea's defensive woes and Luis Suarez pounced with a header from a Jamie Carragher flick-on at a corner to ensure the points were shared.
The Blues will be disappointed to have dropped two points at home in a game they dominated up until the final 20 minutes - although Roberto Di Matteo may have more pressing concerns while awaiting news of his skipper.
Former captain Kevin Nolan returned to haunt his old club as West Ham condemned Newcastle to a first defeat in six games, winning 1-0 at St James' Park.
Nolan's 39th-minute strike, so typical of the goals he once scored for the Magpies, was enough to edge a tight encounter in which the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half but had to survive a stern examination after the break.
Newcastle were once again far from their best, but did create more than enough chances to get something out of the game and would have done but for some poor finishing and the resilience of goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who produced fine saves from Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Opposite number Tim Krul prevented Andy Carroll from opening his West Ham account with a 72nd-minute save with the visitors threatening on the counter-attack.
But ultimately it was Sam Allardyce, who was sacked by Newcastle after just eight months at the helm, who was smiling as his successor Alan Pardew was left to bemoan another disjointed display and defeat at the hands of his former employers in front of a largely disappointed crowd of 51,855.