Belfast Telegraph

Toffees fight back to deny United

Everton scored twice in the final seven minutes to blow the Premier League title race wide open by claiming a point from an incredible 4-4 encounter with Manchester United.

Twice in the second half United established a two-goal cushion after having to come from behind in the first place. But it was not enough as Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar scored to stun Old Trafford and offer Manchester City a clear route to the top of the table if they win their next two matches, including the derby on April 30.

Wayne Rooney cancelled out Jelavic's opener as the score stood at 1-1 after the first half. But Danny Welbeck and Nani scored two goals in quick succession around the hour mark before Marouane Fellaini netted minutes later and Rooney added his second - the 180th goal of his United career..

Jelavic sprang the United defence early on but David de Gea was equal to the shot. Leon Osman had a couple of opportunities and United old boy Darron Gibson tried a trademark thunderbolt, which flashed wide.

However, United had no answer when Jelavic lifted a header over De Gea and saw it land just inside the goal.

Soon Nani curled over a brilliant cross which dropped just over Phil Neville and perfectly for Rooney to head in.

Nani then showed admirable desire to out-jump Neville on the edge of the area and nod down for Welbeck. After side-stepping Johnny Heitinga's rash challenge, the youngster calmly curled a superb shot into the top corner.

Old Trafford had not stopped celebrating when Welbeck fed Nani, whose chip sailed over Tim Howard and bounced into the empty net.

Fellaini then smashed home a brilliant volley and Rooney struck once again to restore United's two-goal cushion, but with seven minutes left Jelavic drove a precise shot into the bottom corner. Fellaini then created space to slide a pass through to an unmarked Pienaar, who planted a first-time shot beyond De Gea.

United tried to regain control as Phil Jones and Javier Hernandez were thrown into the action, but there was to be no final twist as Howard tipped over Rio Ferdinand's goalbound effort in stoppage time.

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