Ten-man Manchester United held on for a 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur to return to the summit of the table and extend their unbeaten run in the English Premier League.
With 16 minutes remaining, the Red Devils lost their right-back Rafael da Silva to a second yellow card but held on to ensure that Spurs did not score. The result put United back at the top of the table, level on points with cross-town rivals Manchester City, with two games in hand. For Spurs, the draw meant they remain at fifth in the table, below Chelsea.
The game exploded into life from the very first minute, and was played at a high tempo with both teams displaying good football with some fluid passing moves. Wayne Rooney, returning from injury after sitting out the FA Cup tie against Liverpool, drew good one-handed saves out of Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes in either half with shots from outside the box.
Spurs were the more aggressive in the second half and used the flanks with the pace of Lennon and Bale on either side. United's right back Rafael had trouble in keeping his cool, and was sent off for a second yellow card after appearing to trip Assou-Ekoto from behind. Spurs brought on Defoe for Palacios and went for the win, but United held on nervously for the draw which extends Spurs winless record against them to 24 matches.
In the Merseyside Derby, Kenny Dalglish's first home game in his second stint at Liverpool ended in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Everton.
In a highly vocal Anfield chanting adulation on 'King Kenny', the first-half saw a dominant Liverpool. Fernando Torres cut a determined figure as he showed glimpses of his best when he turned and raced clear of Distin before twisting inside Heitinga only to see his left-footed attempt bounce off the far post.
It didn't take long for the first goal to come as Raul Meireles scored his first goal for the club. Glen Johnson's cross from wide left was headed at the far-post by Kuyt only to see Howard save it. Kuyt attempted to smash home the rebound, but Howard had the angel covered. The second rebound broke free to Meireles who swerved a shot in at the near-post before reeling away in celebration.
Liverpool took the lead into half-time. However, a folly which has repeatedly haunted them this season reared its ugly head as they failed to preserve the lead. In a seven-minute period in the second half, Everton scored twice to take the lead. Distin got the equalizer when he found himself free from a corner. Controversy marred the second Everton goal. Victor Anichebe's challenge on Kelly, which left the defender lying on the ground, was deemed fair by the referee and play continued allowing Leon Osman to slip in Beckford who beat a frustrated Pepe Reina. Liverpool complained but to no avail as it turned into a typical Merseyside Derby.
It wasn't over yet though, as Liverpool scored the equalizer from the spot. Maxi Rodriguez went down under Howard's challenge in the penalty area, and the ref pointed to the spot with 20 minutes remaining. Kuyt was the epitome of calmness as he sent Howard the wrong way and the game ended in fair draw.
In Sunday's other fixtures, Birmingham and Aston Villa played out a 1-1 draw in the local derby at St. Andrews. The score was the same at the Stadium of Light where Sunderland's Asamoah Gyan's injury-time equalizer shattered Newcastle hearts as the game ended 1-1 after Kevin Nolan had given the Toons the lead.
On Saturday, Chelsea returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win at home over Blackburn Rovers. Chelsea started on the attack as Blackburn barely got out of their own half in the first period. However, the half ended goalless and the low self-confidence was evident amongst Chelsea as they nervously pursued the opener in the second half. It came off a corner as Ivanovic poked home from a goal-mouth scramble. The tie was settled when from another set-piece, Ivanovic turned provider with a downward header for Anelka to flick it in. The second goal gave the home side a boost and they never looked like conceding.
At the City of Manchester Stadium, a goal-filled thriller ended 4-3 as Manchester City came back from a goal down against Wolves to climb to the top of the table, albeit temporarily. Nenad Mijilas gave the visitors a shock lead, but Kolo Toure got the equalizer after stabbing home from a corner. More goals followed in the second half, as a brilliant Carlos Tevez surged into the Wolves area before striking an unstoppable finish beyond Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey.
The other Toure brother, Yaya Toure, scored the third with a fine finish as City increased their lead. Tevez's second in the 66th minute seemed to settle the encounter as City led 4-1. But two minutes later, Kevin Doyle scored from the spot to give Wolves a lifeline. City still had a two goal cushion, but Mick McCarthy's men rallied and with four minutes remaining, Ronald Zubar bundled home to make for a tense finale at 4-3. However, City held on to prevent what would have been a brilliant comeback from Wolves.
Arsenal served the Hammers further misery at Upton Park, as they thrashed West Ham 3-0. Walcott and Van Persie kept returning favors for each other with Walcott crossing for Van Persie to strike the opener. The Dutchman turned provider for the second as he slipped Walcott through for the Englishman to find the roof of the net. Walcott returned the favor when he won a penalty for Van Persie to score his second.
Manchester United and Manchester City form the top two of the Premier League table, both level on points at 45. But United head the table on goal difference, despite having played two games lesser than City. Arsenal sit at third, two points behind the top-two, while Chelsea's win over Blackburn propelled them back into the top four, five points behind Arsenal. Spurs are at fifth, a point behind Chelsea.