- Alex Ferguson criticizes referee after Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Newcastle
- Second-half penalty gives Manchester City chance to move seven points clear on Sunday
- Third-placed Tottenham close gap on United to two points with 3-1 win at West Brom
- Chelsea return to winning ways against Wolves but Arsenal draw with Fulham
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was furious after his team's hopes of retaining the English Premier League title were dented by a controversial 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Saturday.
Demba Ba's second-half penalty kept the visitors in fourth place despite having Jonas Gutierrez sent off with 11 minutes to play, and Manchester City can now move seven points clear at the top by winning at Liverpool on Sunday.
Javier Hernandez put second-placed United ahead four minutes after the halftime break with a lucky goal when a volley by teammate Wayne Rooney hit visiting defender Steven Taylor and ricocheted into the net off the Mexico striker.
Ba continued his hot scoring run, with the Senegalese striker netting his ninth league goal this season in the 64th minute as referee Mike Jones ruled that Rio Ferdinand fouled Hatem Ben Arfa -- but only after consulting with his linesman.
Ferguson insisted the England defender had made a fair tackle.
"I think it was everyone's view, including the referee as he thought Rio won the ball because he gave the corner kick," the Scot told reporters. "He let the assistant referee over-rule him.
"We had that situation a few weeks ago when the linesman gave a penalty kick for handball against Sunderland when it was obviously an opponent's hand."
United hit the woodwork through England winger Ashley Young after Argentina international Gutierrez was dismissed for a second booking.
Tottenham retained third place after winning 3-1 at West Bromwich Albion as Emmanuel Adebayor followed up his double against Aston Villa with two more goals to put his side two points behind United.
The on-loan striker canceled out Youssouf Mulumbu's early header when he was quickest to react after Ben Foster saved his 25th-minute penalty.
Striker Jermain Defoe, handed a rare start in place of Rafael van der Vaart, put the London side ahead in the 81st minute after Adebayor helped put him clear with a backheel, then the Togo international sealed it in time added on from Gareth Bale's cross.
Fifth-placed Chelsea bounced back from successive defeats to beat Wolverhampton 3-0 and relieve the pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese has had to defend himself with Chelsea well off the pace and battling to stay in Europe after losing to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League in midweek.
Captain John Terry headed the London side ahead in the seventh minute, while young striker Daniel Sturridge and Spain winger Juan Mata also scored before halftime to leave the visitors hovering above the relegation zone.
Sixth-placed Arsenal failed to join Chelsea on 25 points after being held 1-1 by London rivals Fulham, who moved up to 15th.
Thomas Vermaelen's 65th-minute own-goal gave Fulham hope of a first win at the Emirates, but the Belgium defender made amends by heading an equalizer with eight minutes to play from Theo Walcott's right-wing cross.
Bolton remained third from bottom after a 2-0 home defeat by Everton.
Bolton had David Wheater sent off after just 20 minutes before second-half goals from Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini and Greek forward Apostolos Vellios lifted the visitors up to eighth.
Norwich moved up to ninth with a 2-1 win at home to fellow promoted side Queens Park Rangers, as substitute striker Grant Holt scored a close-range decider with 17 minutes to play.
Russell Martin put Norwich ahead in the 15th minute but Luke Young leveled on the hour after Jamie Mackie's shot hit the post.
Wigan moved off the bottom with a last-gasp 2-1 win at Sunderland, the club's second victory in 13 games.
Franco di Santo profited from an injury-time error by former Manchester United defender Wes Brown, after Jordi Gomez's 44th-minute penalty had canceled out Sebastian Larsson's opener for the home side.
The result left Blackburn at the foot of the table in seven points following a 3-1 defeat by Stoke in the early match.
Goals from Rory Delap, Glenn Whelan and Peter Crouch helped the home side end a run of four defeats and move up to 12th.