The race for the Premier League title took yet another twist on Saturday as leaders Chelsea were beaten at Crystal Palace and Manchester City missed the chance to leapfrog them as they were held to a draw at Arsenal.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said his side will not win the title after they were stunned 1-0 at lowly Palace, thanks to an own goal by captain John Terry.
City then missed the opportunity to lead on goal difference as they could only draw 1-1 at fourth-placed Arsenal in the day’s late match.
“I think now we lose any chance of finishing first,” Mourinho said.
“I know mathematically it is still possible to win the league but we now depend too much on other results.
“We could have scored in the first-half and had chances to equalise but it’s fair to say Palace deserved it.” Chelsea was expecting to extend their one-point lead over Liverpool against a Palace side, which has been battling to avoid relegation all season.
But Terry headed Joel Ward’s cross past Petr Cech and Palace held on — and had chances to extend their lead — to move five points clear of the bottom three.
“It was important that we won the game,” Palace manager Tony Pulis said. “It’s a fantastic result for us.
“I’ve been involved in some games where we’ve played really well and got nothing.
“It’s the toughest league in the world. Chelsea is a fantastic team, their manager popped in and said well done, so that’s class.”
City took the lead at Arsenal when David Silva showed his awareness to knock in a rebound in the first-half.
But Arsenal hit back well and Mathieu Flamini equalised as they shared the spoils, leaving them five points behind Chelsea.
Elsewhere, Manchester United gave their fans a lift going into next week’s Champions League quarter—final against Bayern Munich with a 4-1 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
Ashley Westwood put Villa in front early on but two goals from Wayne Rooney, the second from the penalty spot, put United ahead at half-time.
Goals from Juan Mata — his first for United — and substitute Javier Hernandez sealed victory for the home side to lift them within two points of sixth-placed Tottenham.
United manager David Moyes, who has been criticised for his side’s inconsistency, praised the performance of Rooney.
“He has played great all season,” Moyes said. “He is getting the goals that we need but his all-round form and play has been very good this year.” “We played well after (the Villa goal). We got to grips with the game and we scored some really good goals after that.”
Southampton crushed Newcastle 4-0 with Jay Rodriguez scoring twice while Jonathan de Guzman also grabbed two goals in Swansea’s 3-0 win over Norwich.
Cardiff clinched a dramatic 3-3 draw at West Brom with a last-minute equaliser from Mats Moller Daehli.