Tottenham Hotspur hammered another nail into Manchester United’s creaking Premier League title defence with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day.
Having won their previous six games in all competitions, United were hoping to match wins by their fellow title rivals, but instead they slumped to a sixth defeat of the season that left them 11 points off the pace.
Victory took Spurs above United into sixth place, two points outside the top four, with the defending champions three points further back in seventh.
“All you can do is play well and hopefully you take your opportunities when they come and you don’t make some small mistakes,” United manager David Moyes told BT Sport.
“But overall the players played really well and their effort to try and get back in the game after going 2-0 down was terrific.
“We’ll keep trying to win the next game. That’s all you can do. We’re not necessarily looking at the league table.”
Earlier, Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott scored last-gasp goals as Arsenal edged Cardiff City 2-0 to preserve their place at the top of the table.
With former United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in attendance, amid reports he is due to succeed the sacked Malky Mackay as Cardiff manager, Arsenal dominated but had to wait until the 88th minute for Bendtner to break the deadlock.
Walcott added a second goal in injury time.
“We needed to be patient against a very good Cardiff side,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
“We know we have to play 10 home games and we want to make this place a fortress and take the points no matter what the others do. If we can manage to do that, we will be in a very strong position.”
Manchester City had a 3-2 victory at Swansea City.
“It was a very good result because Swansea are a strong team here at home and also away,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini told Sky Sports. “I think the way we won today is very important for us.”
City finished the day a point behind Arsenal in second place, with Chelsea a point further back in third after a 3-0 success at Southampton.
Liverpool responded to consecutive losses at the hands of City and Chelsea by winning 2-0 at home to Hull City, a result which took them back into the top four.
Everton slipped out of the top four despite Leighton Baines scoring an injury-time penalty to earn Roberto Martinez’s side a 1-1 draw at Stoke City.
Nicolas Anelka started for West Bromwich Albion against Newcastle United, despite being under investigation by the Football Association over an allegedly anti-Semitic goal celebration.
The Frenchman played for 88 minutes in West Brom’s 1-0 win.
Newcastle defender Mathieu Debuchy had earlier been sent off for an ugly foul on Claudio Yacob.
Fulham escaped from the drop zone after coming from behind to win 2-1 at home to fellow relegation contenders West Ham United, who remain second from bottom.
Sunderland remain bottom of the table after Gabriel Agbonlahor’s 15th-minute goal earned Aston Villa a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light, while third-bottom Crystal Palace were held to a 1-1 draw by Norwich City.
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