Darren Bent headed in an injury-time equaliser as Fulham drew 2-2 at Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Tottenham had earlier gone fifth with a 1-0 win over Everton.

Fulham remain bottom, but weathered a storm to claim a point just as it seemed its chance had gone, and left United flailing nine points off Champions League qualification. Fulham had taken a 19th-minute lead through Steve Sidwell as he ran on to Lewis Holtby’s dinked pass.

United huffed and puffed, slinging cross after cross into the box, and eventually made the breakthrough after 78 minutes, Robin van Persie turning in Juan Mata’s cross.

Just 80 seconds later a Michael Carrick shot was deflected into the top corner.

It seemed United had done enough, but four minutes into injury-time, former United player Kieran Richardson cut into the box form the left.

His shot was saved by David de Gea, but substitute Bent dived in to grab an unlikely point.

Tottenham’s victory lifted it above Everton, but it is still three points adrift of Liverpool in the race for fourth place and Champions League qualification.

It was a far from convincing performance, the goal coming from its only shot on target, but still Spurs’ sixth win in nine league games since Tim Sherwood replaced Andre Villas-Boas as manager in December.

“If you’d told me that Spurs would have one shot on target, before the game I’d have taken that,” said the Everton boss Roberto Martinez. “If you played the game nine times, we would have won it eight.”

Everton had much the better of the first half, but without the injured Romelu Lukaku it lacked penetration and, aside from one early Leon Osman shot that was tipped wide by Hugo Lloris, it struggled to covert dominance into chances.

So frustrated was Sherwood that he spent most of the game kicking objects on the touchline. “We started slow again and we got to find out a reason why,” he said. “Hugo’s kept us in the game. We’ve got to address it.

“We were far too deep and if you give them space they’re going to open you up.”

This time it was Everton which switched off, allowing Kyle Walker to pick out Adebayor with a quick free-kick.

The Togo striker controlled the ball well, held off two challenges and tucked a low finish inside the near post, his seventh goal since being recalled to the side by Sherwood in December.

“More games are going to be ground out than free-flowing smash them three- and four-nil,” Sherwood admitted, contemplating the race for fourth.

The results: Manchester United 2 (van Persie 78, Carrick 80) drew with Fulham 2 (Sidwell 19, Bent 90+4); Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Adebayor 65) bt Everton 0; Swansea 3 (Routledge 47, Dyer 79, Bony 85) bt Cardiff 0. — DPA

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