Manchester United held by Newcastle United(credit: Ryu Voelkel
Manchester United are back to seven points ahead of second placed Arsenal after being held to a goalless draw against Newcastle United.
Arsenal’s draw with Liverpool on Sunday saw the Gunners close the gap to six points, but United edged further ahead at St James’ Park.
The draw also sees Newcastle move on to the magical 40 points mark for the season which should see them avoid relegation to the Championship.
The visitors almost got off to a dream start when Javier Hernandez was denied a second minute goal thanks to a great save from Tim Krul, while the hosts refused to lie down and had a number of chances themselves with Joey Barton in fine form.
In the second half the home side had claims for a penalty waved away after Peter Lovenkrands went down under a challenge from Anderson, but referee Lee Probert waved play on - that would not be the last time the official had to make a big decision.
Ryan Giggs was guilty of wasting a great chance for the Red Devils when he blazed over the crossbar after he was neatly teed up by Patrice Evra, while Magpies debutant Stephen Ireland fired wide with a volley which would have capped a dream start for the ex-Manchester City midfielder.
Nani could have won it for Manchester United in the 78th minute but his curling effort from the edge of the penalty area went just wide.
Michael Owen came on for the visitors for the last ten minutes to a chorus of boos and stinging chants following his less than amicable departure from Newcastle, while Giggs again fired wide as they pushed for a late winner.
There was time for some late drama when Hernandez was booked for diving in the penalty area in injury time as Danny Simpson seemed to lunge in at the Mexican.