London - Manchester United were prevented from restoring their six-point
lead over Manchester City at the top of the English Premier League after being
held to a 1-1 draw at Swansea City on Sunday.
Swansea's top scorer Michu cancelled out Patrice Evra's opener for United in
the first half and despite twice hitting the crossbar in the second period, the
visitors left South Wales with only a point.
It was United's first draw of the season in all competitions and leaves them
four points above second-place City ahead of the home game with Newcastle
United on Wednesday.
VIDEO: Swansea v Manchester United
Swansea threatened first at the Liberty Stadium, Michu firing off-target
after out-pacing the returning Nemanja Vidic, before Wayne Rooney and Ashley
Young tested fit-again Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm at the other end.
United took the lead in the 16th minute, with Evra getting in front of his
marker to dispatch Robin van Persie's corner and claim his third goal - all
headers - of the season.
Michu headed over from Nathan Dyer's cross, but it did not take long for the
Spaniard to find the net.
In the 29th minute, Wayne Routledge's cute pass freed Jonathan de Guzman and
when his shot was parried by David de Gea, Michu followed up from close range
to claim his 13th league goal of the campaign.
Vorm saved from Rooney again before half-time, while at the interval, United
manager Alex Ferguson harangued referee Michael Olivier for failing to penalise
Chico Flores for a challenge on Van Persie prior to Swansea's equaliser.
De Gea thwarted Kemy Agustien and Routledge early in the second period,
before Van Persie hooked a superb volley onto the top of the Swansea crossbar
from a left-wing Rooney cross.
Michael Carrick then hit the bar from a corner, while both Van Persie and
Ashley Young were thwarted by some last-ditch defensive blocks.
Arsenal climbed to third place with a 1-0 victory at third-bottom Wigan
Athletic on Saturday and they are one of four teams on 30 points along with
Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion.
However, seventh-placed Chelsea - back in England after their loss to
Corinthians in the Club World Cup final - will move into the top three if they
win at home to Aston Villa later on Sunday.