- Chelsea and Man City play out 1-1 draw
- Lampard a late sub for Man City
- Sturridge scores on Liverpool return
(CNN)It was billed as a top of the table clash that would determine the fate of the English Premier League title.
Instead, Saturday evening's dull 1-1 draw between leaders Chelsea and current champions Manchester City did little more than preserve the status quo.
Manchester City traveled to west London five points behind Chelsea, knowing that victory would take a large chunk out of that lead. Also traveling was Manchester City's Frank Lampard, who until last season played for Chelsea and remains their record goal scorer.
His controversial move to Manchester City, when it had been thought he had signed for MLS team New York City FC, had angered many Chelsea supporters, giving extra spice to the clash.
But there was little drama in a largely benign encounter, with Chelsea showing signs of fatigue after their midweek exertions against Liverpool in the League Cup.
After a cagey opening half, the game did briefly come to life after Chelsea's French international striker Loic Remy fired the home side into a lead which only lasted a few minutes.
Manchester City quickly equalized when Spain international David Silva converted after a rare mistake by Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Manchester City dominated the second half without creating any more clean cut chances. Indeed, Chelsea would fail to register a single shot on target after their goal.
The game did come to life again briefly when Lampard came on as a late substitute.
Despite some boos, he was given a largely warm reception back at a club where he scored a record 211 goals in all competitions. But Lampard couldn't find the breakthrough either as the two teams shared the spoils.
"They had a big old game midweek," Lampard told Sky Sports after the game, referring to Wednesday's match against Liverpool.
"it was a good performance all round without the electricity the big games need. Chelsea, I think, accepted the point."
After the game Lampard was given a standing ovation from the home side, something he was denied before leaving in the close season.
"It felt a bit strange and I was excited about today but a bit nervous too. I knew this would be different," Lampard said of his return.
"I was delighted with the reception from both fans," he added. "They [Chelsea fans] showed complete class by giving me an ovation at the end, which I didn't get a chance to see at the end of last season."
Manchester United gain
Earlier in the day Manchester United beat bottom of the table Leicester City 3-1, lifting them up to third.
The reverse fixture last year was arguably coach Louis Van Gaal lowest moment in the job.
His United team somehow conspired to turn a 3-1 lead into a 5-3 defeat but there was little chance of a repeat at Old Trafford.
Goals from Robin van Persie, Falcao and an own goal by Wes Morgan before half time handed United an unassailable lead. Leicester City scored a consolation through Marcin Wasilewski, but it was too late for the Midlands club to mount another comeback.
Liverpool maintained their recent run of good form with a 2-0 victory against West Ham United.
West Ham have not won at Anfield since 1963 -- a game in which England's 1966 World Cup hero Geoff Hurst scored twice -- so little was expected of the visiting side.
Liverpool eventually took the lead through Raheem Sterling but it was the return of striker Daniel Sturridge that had the Kop on their feet.
With Luis Suarez now at Barcelona and Sturridge injured for much of the season, Liverpool have struggled for goals. But the England international scored shorty after coming on, giving Liverpool another boost in their efforts to secure a Champions League spot.
Two of the teams in contention for fourth place in the league, Arsenal and Southampton, play against Aston Villa and Swansea respectively on Sunday.