Hammers stun United in title twist
West Ham United threw the Premier League title race wide open on Saturday by coming from behind to beat Manchester United 2-1 as the leaders lost for only the third time in the league this season. Defeat at Upton Park left United just a point in front of Arsenal ahead of the Gunners' late kick-off match away to Everton.
Cristiano Ronaldo's 18th goal of the season looked like being enough to give champions United a win when he headed in a 14th minute cross from Ryan Giggs. But the Portugal star was made to pay for shooting wide from the penalty spot in the 66th minute following a handball from Jonathan Spector.
Hammers substitute Anton Ferdinand, playing against his brother Rio, drew the home side level in the 77th minute with a header and, with eight minutes to go, West Ham were ahead when Matthew Upson headed in Mark Noble's free-kick.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, whose wide were without ill duo Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, said West Ham deserved their win. "I have no complaints. We were beaten by the better team. We were not nearly up to our normal performance."
Dimitar Berbatov scored four goals, including his first hat-trick for Tottenham Hotspur, as they beat Reading 6-4 in an extraordinary, see-saw match at White Hart Lane with boyhood Spurs fan Dave Kitson netting twice for the visitors. It was the second time this season that Reading had lost after scoring four away from home following their 7-4 defeat at Portsmouth.
Chelsea heaped more pressure on Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge that meant the visitors had taken just one point from a possible nine. But Salomon Kalou's decisive goal three minutes from time appeared offside.
Sunderland moved out of the bottom three with a 3-1 win at home to Bolton Wanderers, while Middlesbrough won 1-0 away to Portsmouth as the home side went goalless in the league at Fratton Park for the sixth match in a row.
Aston Villa came from behind to beat Wigan 2-1 and Fulham, who finished with ten men, missed out on their final chance to win away in the league this year after a 1-1 draw with Birmingham.
Spurs took the lead against Reading, when Berbatov turned in Robbie Keane's seventh minute cross, only for their defence to let them down once again as the Royals levelled minutes later through Kalifa Cisse. Reading went ahead when Nicky Shorey's 53rd minute corner was headed in by Ivar Ingimarsson.
But Spurs manager Juande Ramos then saw his decision to bring on substitute Jermain Defoe vindicated when his cross set up Bulgarian international Berbatov's second goal just after the hour. Kitson regained the lead for Reading before Berbatov completed his treble in the 73rd minute. Kitson then scored again, from 12 yards.
Spurs's Steed Malbranque made it 4-4 before Defoe capped a sequence of five goals in ten minutes when he followed up after Marcus Hahnemann saved Keane's penalty-kick. Berbatov then scored the winner seven minutes from time.
Sunderland went ahead in the 13th minute against Bolton when midfielder Kieran Richardson, played in by Kenwyne Jones, shot home from 12 yards. And then Jones himself made it 2-0 when he headed in from a near-post corner in the 32nd minute.
Bolton pulled a goal back five minutes before half-time when
El-Hadji Diouf's 30-yard free-kick evaded everyone in the box.
Daryl Murphy settled home nerves in the last minute to give Roy
Keane's men only their fourth league win this season.
Michael Essien scored his first goal in two months as Chelsea went ahead just short of the half-hour mark at home to Newcastle. But former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt made it 1-1 in the 56th only for Kalou to keep the Blues in the title hunt.