United title hopes hit by draw at Blackburn

Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:11pm BST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United suffered a third major blow in eight days on Sunday when a 0-0 draw at Blackburn Rovers damaged their hopes of claiming a fourth consecutive Premier League title.

United, who went out of the Champions League on away goals to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, failed to break down a resolute Rovers side which means they remain stuck behind leaders Chelsea having played a game more.

Chelsea have 74 points from 33 games while United, whose 2-1 defeat at home to Chelsea last weekend cost them top spot, have 73 from 34 games. Arsenal are still in the hunt with 71 points from 33 games.

Liverpool's ambitions of Champions League soccer next season look all but over after they drew 0-0 with fellow Europa League semi-finalists Fulham at Anfield, while Manchester City beat Birmingham City 5-1 to maintain their bid for fourth place.

Roberto Mancini's City side stay in the fourth and final Champions League spot on 62 points after 33 games, four ahead of Tottenham Hotspur who have played one less.

In the day's third goalless stalemate Wolverhampton Wanderers eked out another point in their bid to retain their top-flight status, drawing at home to Stoke City.

United manager Alex Ferguson made six changes to the side who started the ultimately fruitless 3-2 win at home to Bayern on Wednesday with Dimitar Berbatov and Federico Macheda up front and Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes also included.

However, with leading scorer Wayne Rooney missing after re-injuring his ankle on Wednesday, United were toothless as for the seventh time this season they dropped vital league points in the match following a midweek Champions League fixture.   Continued...


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