RvP to United's rescue


Van Persie netted in injury time to cancel out Didier Drogba's 53rd minute opener at Old Trafford.

The result leaves the Blues on 23 points from nine games - four points in front of Southampton, six ahead of champions Manchester City and 10 richer than eighth-placed United.

Louis van Gaal's men started the tie promisingly, as Angel Di Maria volleyed wide from a Juan Mata cross early on.

The visitors appealed for a penalty as the opening half wore on, as Marcos Rojo and Branislav Ivanovic tumbled inside the area, but referee Phil Dowd was unmoved.

Eden Hazard created the best chance shortly after the restart, as he burst past Chris Smalling before drawing a fine save from Red Devils goalkeeper David De Gea. Drogba then headed home the follow-up corner to put the Londoners in front.

The hosts battled to find a way through in the latter stages, but were handed a lifeline at the death when Ivanovic earned a clumsy second booking, with Van Persie capitalising on the resultant free-kick.

In other action, Everton climbed into the top half of the standings following a 3-1 victory at struggling Burnley.

Cameroonian legend Samuel Eto'o bagged a brace to go with a goal from strike partner Romelu Lukaku, while Danny Ings was on target for the Clarets.

Mid-table Tottenham went down 2-1 at home to lowly Newcastle United, with Ayoze Perez getting a 58th minute winner after his teammate Shola Ameobi eclipsed Emmanuel Adebayor's 18th minute strike at White Hart Lane.