United scrape, Liverpool slump
Manchester United launched a stunning comeback to rescue a point through
Manchester City, meanwhile, drew 0-0 at home to Birmingham as manager Roberto Mancini finds himself increasingly in the spotlight after just one win in five games. Carlos Tevez thought he had put City ahead late on in the first half but it was ruled out for handball with the Argentinian booked. Despite the Blues failing to break the deadlock manager Roberto Mancini took off Tevez to protests from the City fans and replaced him with Gareth Barry.
Villa, lacking nine players through injury or illness, stunned United as
Liverpool slumped to their first defeat in seven matches as goals from Ricardo Fuller and Kenwyne Jones earned a 2-0 win for Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. Roy Hodgson's side conceded in the 56th minute when a long throw led to a chaotic sequence of blocked shots and attempted clearances that eventually ended when Fuller drove home from close range. Jones put the result beyond doubt with a clinical finish in stoppage time before Reds midfielder Lucas Leiva was sent off for chopping down Matthew Etherington.
Tottenham enjoyed their first league win since 16 October when they beat Blackburn 4-2 at White Hart Lane. However, the loss of two late goals meant they squandered the chance to move into fifth. Gareth Bale gave Spurs the lead in the 16th minute. Rafael Van der Vaart swung in a corner which an unmarked Bale attacked to power in a header at the near post. Referee Andre Mariner then awarded a questionable penalty to Spurs just after the half hour when Paul Robinson was adjudged to have brought down Peter Crouch but Roman Pavlyuchenko put the ball wide.
The Russian then made up for his miss three minutes before half-time when he headed home. Crouch sent a shot into the roof of the net before Bale got Spurs' fourth following close control by Van der Vaart. Spurs, though, lost their concentration as they allowed David Dunn and Gael Givet to pull two goals back in the last 10 minutes.
Bolton moved into fifth after they held on for a 3-2 win at Wolves who remain firmly in the relegation zone. Wolves suffered the worst possible start when
Elsewhere Newcastle drew 0-0 with Fulham while