Steven Pienaar's late equaliser blew the Premier League title race wide open as Everton fought back to draw with Manchester United.

Coming after United had led 4-2, the result means Manchester City can top the league on goal difference if they beat United at the Etihad Stadium on 30 April following a 2-0 victory over Wolves.

United swept into a 3-1 lead when Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Nani scored after Nikica Jelavic's headed opener.

But, although Rooney was on target again following Marouane Fellaini's volley, Everton scored twice in three minutes during the closing stages, with Jelavic making it 4-3 before Pienaar had the final say.

Man Utd threw it away - Ferguson

It was a frantic second half with six goals coming after the break.

Patrice Evra also struck the post from close range at 4-2, and Rio Ferdinand was denied a stoppage-time winner by Tim Howard's save.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson will be disappointed his team threw away their advantage after some clinical finishing by his young forwards, and the result will give an instant lift to City.

Credit must go to Everton, though, who staged a late fightback when it looked like United would be comfortable in victory and it was a perfect response to their FA Cup semi-final defeat by Liverpool last weekend.

Amid the maelstrom, Rooney collected his 33rd goal of the season, just one short of his best haul in a season, and overtook George Best and Dennis Viollet to move fourth on United's all-time goalscorers' list with his 180th goal.

Title run-in

Man Utd Man City

Man City (a)

30 Apr

Man Utd (h)

Swansea (h)

6 May

Newcastle (a)

Sun'land (a)

13 May

QPR (h)

But by letting the game go, Ferguson's side have now handed an advantage back to City.

Everton's point was built on a five-man midfield and early pressing, and twice they could have gone ahead before Jelavic's header.

With Nani preferred to Ashley Young on the left, the Portuguese winger helped United recover from a slow start and the hosts were just beginning to find their rhythm when Jelavic converted a looping header from Tony Hibbert's cross.

The goal meant the Croat became Everton's leading scorer, having signed in January, but it only served to spur United on and, following Tim Howard's fine save from Paul Scholes's deflected effort, Rooney rose highest to nod in Nani's left-wing centre.

Much of United's inroads in recent games have come down the right, but with left-back Sylvain Distin marshalling the influential Antonio Valencia, it was left for Nani to make an impression, and he duly obliged.

Moyes delighted by great performance

Everton were angered by United's second goal on 57 minutes when Pienaar was injured as Valencia went round him, but when the ball eventually fell to Nani on the edge of the area, he tapped it to Welbeck who jinked and curled his shot into the top corner.

Four minutes later Welbeck was the supplier, as he teed up Nani to chip over Howard.

That looked to have settled the crowd and perhaps the game, but Fellaini's volley from Hibbert's right-wing cross reduced the arrears.

United were not done, though, and Rooney added his second when he combined with Welbeck to sweep in after a clever one-two.

That finish looked like it would go a long way to helping Sir Alex Ferguson's men retain the Premier League title - but Everton had other ideas.

Jelavic took advantage of confusion between Ferdinand and Jonny Evans, before Pienaar collected Fellaini's pass to sweep in, adding another twist to a captivating title race.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (4)

Manchester United

  • 01 De Gea
  • 03 Evra Booked
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 06 Evans
  • 21 Rafael
  • 16 Carrick
  • 17 Nani
  • 22 Scholes (Jones - 86' )
  • 25 Valencia (Hernandez - 89' )
  • 10 Rooney
  • 19 Welbeck

Substitutes

  • 40 Amos
  • 04 Jones
  • 12 Smalling
  • 11 Giggs
  • 13 Park Ji-sung
  • 18 Young
  • 14 Hernandez

Everton

  • 24 Howard
  • 02 Hibbert
  • 05 Heitinga
  • 06 Jagielka
  • 15 Distin Booked (Cahill - 83' )
  • 18 Neville Booked
  • 04 Gibson
  • 21 Osman (McFadden - 63' )
  • 22 Pienaar
  • 25 Fellaini
  • 07 Jelavic

Substitutes

  • 01 Mucha
  • 17 Cahill
  • 20 Barkley
  • 11 Stracqualursi
  • 14 McFadden
  • 19 Gueye
  • 28 Anichebe
Ref: Jones
Att: 75,522

Match Stats

Shots

20 17

On target

11 10

Corners

5 2

Fouls

8 11

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:26 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +5:17

The ball is sent over by Wayne Rooney, clearance made by Phil Neville.

90:00 +4:37

Rafael Da Silva crosses the ball, Rio Ferdinand takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard. Corner from the left by-line taken by Wayne Rooney, Tim Cahill manages to make a clearance. Rafael Da Silva takes a shot. Blocked by Phil Jagielka.

90:00 +4:11

Patrice Evra fouled by James McFadden, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Luis Nani from left wing, Darron Gibson manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +3:28

Phil Jones delivers the ball.

90:00 +2:51

A cross is delivered by Wayne Rooney, Phil Jagielka manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +1:46

The ball is crossed by Wayne Rooney.

90:00 +1:18

Unfair challenge on Luis Nani by Steven Pienaar results in a free kick. Luis Nani crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Marouane Fellaini.

90:00 +0:28

The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Jonathan Evans misses to the left of the goal.

89:53

Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Phil Jagielka gets a block in. The ball is sent over by Luis Nani, clearance by Phil Jagielka. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani from the right by-line, Phil Jagielka manages to make a clearance.

88:26

The free kick is delivered right-footed by Luis Nani from right channel, Nikica Jelavic manages to make a clearance.

88:26 Substitution

Substitution Javier Hernandez replaces Antonio Valencia.

88:26

Marouane Fellaini gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Rafael Da Silva.

87:14

Shot by Nikica Jelavic from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.

85:51

Luis Nani crosses the ball, Johnny Heitinga makes a clearance.

85:04 Substitution

Substitution Phil Jones comes on in place of Paul Scholes.

84:05

Assist on the goal came from Marouane Fellaini.

84:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Steven Pienaar - Man Utd 4 - 4 Everton Steven Pienaar finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 4-4 Everton.

82:12

The assist for the goal came from Phil Neville.

82:12 Substitution

Substitution Sylvain Distin leaves the field to be replaced by Tim Cahill.

82:12 Goal scored

Goal! - Nikica Jelavic - Man Utd 4 - 3 Everton Goal scored by Nikica Jelavic from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 4-3 Everton.

80:51

Rafael Da Silva sends in a cross, Headed effort from close in by Patrice Evra bounces off the post.

79:49

A cross is delivered by Antonio Valencia, Phil Jagielka manages to make a clearance.

78:14

Sylvain Distin crosses the ball, Jonathan Evans manages to make a clearance.

76:46

The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by David De Gea.

76:27

James McFadden takes a shot. Blocked by Rio Ferdinand.

75:09

Shot by Nikica Jelavic from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

75:03

The ball is swung over by Tony Hibbert, Paul Scholes manages to make a clearance.

74:09

Luis Nani is ruled offside. Phil Jagielka takes the free kick.

73:29

Centre by Steven Pienaar, David De Gea makes a save.

68:53

Assist by Danny Welbeck.

68:53 Goal scored

Goal! - Wayne Rooney - Man Utd 4 - 2 Everton Wayne Rooney finds the back of the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 4-2 Everton.

68:08

Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Tim Howard makes a save.

67:27

The ball is swung over by Nikica Jelavic, Steven Pienaar takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save by David De Gea.

66:01

Tony Hibbert provided the assist for the goal.

66:01 Goal scored

Goal! - Marouane Fellaini - Man Utd 3 - 2 Everton Marouane Fellaini finds the back of the net with a brilliant goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd 3-2 Everton.

66:00

The ball is sent over by Tony Hibbert,

64:27

Antonio Valencia has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.

63:56

Steven Pienaar concedes a free kick for a foul on Rafael Da Silva. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick.

62:39

Jonathan Evans restarts play with the free kick.

62:39 Substitution

Substitution Leon Osman leaves the field to be replaced by James McFadden.

62:39

Steven Pienaar gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Rafael Da Silva.

62:06

Paul Scholes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Pienaar. Phil Neville restarts play with the free kick.

61:27

Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Johnny Heitinga gets a block in. Antonio Valencia takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Phil Jagielka makes a clearance.

60:00

Assist on the goal came from Danny Welbeck.

60:00 Goal scored

Goal! - Luis Nani - Man Utd 3 - 1 Everton Luis Nani fires in a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 3-1 Everton.

59:38

Antonio Valencia sends in a cross, Phil Jagielka manages to make a clearance.

58:36

Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.

58:36 Booking

Booking Phil Neville is shown a yellow card.

58:32

Phil Neville gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Welbeck.

56:17

Luis Nani provided the assist for the goal.

56:17 Goal scored

Goal! - Danny Welbeck - Man Utd 2 - 1 Everton Danny Welbeck finds the net with a goal from just outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Man Utd 2-1 Everton.

56:05

The ball is crossed by Antonio Valencia, clearance made by Leon Osman.

54:47

Foul by Rio Ferdinand on Phil Neville, free kick awarded. Tim Howard takes the free kick.

54:26

The ball is swung over by Patrice Evra, Johnny Heitinga makes a clearance.

54:13

The ball is crossed by Patrice Evra, clearance made by Johnny Heitinga.

53:42

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tim Howard by Paul Scholes. Tim Howard takes the free kick.

52:26

Foul by Wayne Rooney on Tony Hibbert, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Tony Hibbert.

52:05

The referee gives a free kick against Nikica Jelavic for handball. Free kick taken by David De Gea.

48:33

Luis Nani delivers the ball, Tim Howard makes a save.

46:30

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Darron Gibson from the left by-line, Rio Ferdinand manages to make a clearance.

46:07

Darron Gibson restarts play with the free kick.

46:07 Booking

Booking Patrice Evra goes into the referee's book.

45:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Patrice Evra on Nikica Jelavic.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +3:24 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

45:00 +2:04

Luis Nani delivers the ball, Header by Danny Welbeck from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.

45:00 +2:04 Booking

Booking Sylvain Distin receives a caution.

45:00 +2:02

Foul by Sylvain Distin on Antonio Valencia, free kick awarded.

44:59

Nikica Jelavic has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

44:08

Leon Osman takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.

43:31

Shot from outside the box by Luis Nani misses to the left of the target.

41:17

Unfair challenge on Marouane Fellaini by Antonio Valencia results in a free kick. Sylvain Distin restarts play with the free kick.

40:05

Assist by Luis Nani.

40:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Wayne Rooney - Man Utd 1 - 1 Everton Wayne Rooney finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Man Utd 1-1 Everton.

40:04

Centre by Luis Nani,

39:54

A cross is delivered by Antonio Valencia, Tony Hibbert makes a clearance.

39:44

The ball is crossed by Luis Nani, Sylvain Distin makes a clearance.

38:09

Antonio Valencia produces a cross, save by Tim Howard.

35:03

Foul by Steven Pienaar on Michael Carrick, free kick awarded. Michael Carrick takes the free kick.

34:10

The ball is crossed by Patrice Evra, clearance made by Johnny Heitinga. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Wayne Rooney from the left by-line, save by Tim Howard. Paul Scholes takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.

32:59

Assist by Tony Hibbert.

32:59 Goal scored

Goal! - Nikica Jelavic - Man Utd 0 - 1 Everton Nikica Jelavic finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Man Utd 0-1 Everton.

32:57

The ball is sent over by Tony Hibbert,

30:53

The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, save by Tim Howard.

29:56

Darron Gibson has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.

29:26

The ball is sent over by Patrice Evra, Tim Howard makes a save.

28:51

Marouane Fellaini challenges Rio Ferdinand unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Rio Ferdinand.

28:11

Marouane Fellaini challenges Patrice Evra unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Scholes restarts play with the free kick.

27:39

A cross is delivered by Rafael Da Silva, Tim Howard makes a save.

26:48

Drilled left-footed shot by Leon Osman. Blocked by Paul Scholes. The ball is delivered by Steven Pienaar, Wayne Rooney manages to make a clearance.

26:19

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Darron Gibson, clearance made by Michael Carrick.

24:57

Foul by Wayne Rooney on Phil Jagielka, free kick awarded. Johnny Heitinga restarts play with the free kick.

24:06

Corner taken by Wayne Rooney from the left by-line, Tim Howard makes a save.

23:44

Centre by Jonathan Evans, Tony Hibbert makes a clearance.

23:00

A cross is delivered by Luis Nani, Phil Jagielka manages to make a clearance.

22:25

Wayne Rooney delivers the ball.

22:15

Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Phil Jagielka gets a block in.

21:26

Wayne Rooney produces a cross.

19:17

Phil Neville produces a cross, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Sylvain Distin misses to the left of the goal.

18:44

Leon Osman produces a cross, blocked by Patrice Evra.

17:47

Rafael Da Silva handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Tim Howard takes the free kick.

16:25

Nikica Jelavic crosses the ball, clearance by Rio Ferdinand.

15:51

Effort from outside the penalty area by Paul Scholes goes wide left of the goal.

15:03

Foul by Marouane Fellaini on Michael Carrick, free kick awarded. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick.

13:39

Centre by Patrice Evra, Close range headed effort by Wayne Rooney misses to the right of the goal.

13:34

Rafael Da Silva crosses the ball, clearance by Johnny Heitinga.

12:17

Rafael Da Silva concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Pienaar. Johnny Heitinga takes the free kick.

11:40

Luis Nani takes a shot. Tim Howard makes a save.

10:15

Luis Nani has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.

10:09

The ball is delivered by Antonio Valencia, clearance made by Tony Hibbert.

8:05

The ball is delivered by Nikica Jelavic, clearance by Jonathan Evans.

4:40

Effort from inside the area by Leon Osman misses to the left of the target.

4:19

Nikica Jelavic takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.

1:34

Leon Osman takes a shot. Blocked by Rio Ferdinand. Headed effort on goal by Leon Osman from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target. The referee blows for offside against Antonio Valencia. Indirect free kick taken by Johnny Heitinga.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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