Manchester United was held to a 4-4 tie by Everton in the Premier League today, potentially hurting its bid to secure a record 20th English soccer championship.
United led by two goals with seven minutes remaining before Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar scored for the visiting Toffees at Old Trafford.
United holds a six-point lead atop the standings over second-place Manchester City, which can halve the gap with a win at Wolverhampton Wanderers later today. City then hosts United on April 30.
Wayne Rooney netted twice, moving ahead of George Best in United’s list of all-time top scorers, with Danny Welbeck and Nani also scoring. Jelavic had opened the scoring for Everton, with Marouane Fellaini getting its other goal.
Everton created a couple of early chances today, with Leon Osman having a shot blocked by Rio Ferdinand, then goalkeeper David de Gea making a save from Jelavic.
Nani had United’s opening two efforts, while Rooney headed wide from a Patrice Evra cross.
The Toffees, without an away win against United since 1992, continued to press and Ferdinand twice had to make important interventions to keep them out.
Jelavic got his seventh goal since a January move from Glasgow’s Rangers to break the deadlock. The Croatian striker lifted a header over De Gea at the back post from a cross by Tony Hibbert.
United’s Paul Scholes almost scored a minute later with a deflected shot, but goalkeeper Tim Howard managed to hold onto the ball. Rooney also had a chance before getting his team’s opening goal with a diving header.
The hosts took the lead on 57 minutes when Welbeck collected the ball near the edge of the penalty area and curled a shot into the top corner of the net.
Nani increased United’s advantage three minutes later with a chip over Howard, but Everton responded as Hibbert provided a cross for Fellaini to volley past De Gea.
Rooney completed a spell of four goals in 13 minutes with his 33rd of the season. He now has 180 goals for the club, only trailing Jack Rowley, Denis Law and 249-goal Bobby Charlton.
Evra headed against the post with 10 minutes remaining, and seventh-place Everton scored soon after through Jelavic, before Pienaar took advantage of poor marking to earn his team a point.
Yesterday, Arsenal and Chelsea tied 0-0, Newcastle beat Stoke City 3-0, and Tottenham lost 1-0 at Queens Park Rangers.
Blackburn beat Norwich 2-0, Fulham defeated Wigan 2-1, Bolton and Swansea drew 1-1, while the match between Aston Villa and Sunderland was scoreless.