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United held at Newcastle

19 Apr 2011 22:30:02

United held at Newcastle

Veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs squandered the chance to fire Manchester United nine points clear in the race for the Barclays Premier League title as Newcastle frustrated the leaders.The Welshman shot wide with the goal at his mercy after being picked out by Patrice Evra with 69 minutes gone to let two points slip from the leaders' grasp.Sir Alex Ferguson's men were denied on two occasions before the break by fine saves from the injured Steve Harper's replacement, Tim Krul, but even the return of Wayne Rooney from suspension could not inspire United to victory on a night when the Magpies fought tooth and nail in front of an appreciative crowd of 49,025.United did, however, extend their lead over second-placed Arsenal, who could only draw at home to Liverpool on Sunday, and it seems only a matter of time before they clinch the crown for the 19th time.The draw took Newcastle's total for the season to 40-point mark as they climbed back into ninth and edged closer to retaining their top-flight status.It might have been even better had referee Lee Probert agreed with Peter Lovenkrands that he had been tripped by Anderson inside the penalty area, although Hernandez was similarly aggrieved to be booked for diving as he was challenged by Danny Simpson in injury time.


PA

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