United SLIP UP

LONDON - Manchester United squandered a chance to temporarily regain the Premier League leadership when they drew 0-0 with Blackburn yesterday.

LONDON - Manchester United squandered a chance to temporarily regain the Premier League leadership when they drew 0-0 with Blackburn yesterday.

This means Man United would trail Chelsea in the title race.

A victory would have put United a point ahead of Chelsea but Antonio Valencia and Dimitar Berbatov both missed their scoring chances at Ewood Park.

Chelsea, which now lead the league by one point, have the chance to go four clear points of United by beating Bolton at home tomorrow.

"It's a blow, there's no question about that, and it makes it really difficult to win the league now," said United manager Alex Ferguson whose team is trying to become the first to win the league title four times in a row.

"That's a fantastic result for (Chelsea). They will be really delighted at that and they have a home game against Bolton on Tuesday. They will be expected to win that of course. We needed to win today. We are a point behind Chelsea and they have a game in hand and that would take it to four points and it's a big gap."

Without 34-goal Wayne Rooney, who is sidelined with an ankle injury, United failed to dominate a mid-standings Blackburn side.

United's first clear chance did not come until just before half-time when Valencia broke clear only for Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson to block his shot.

Berbatov had a good chance in the 80th minute when he stood unmarked at 15m out but shot straight at the 'keeper.

Three minutes later, the Bulgarian striker, whose inconsistent form has made him unpopular with many United fans, fired wide from the edge of the area.

Deep into injury time, a half-chance fell to United right-back Gary Neville but he pulled his shot wide with his weaker left foot.

In another match yesterday, Wolves edged closer to safety with a 0-0 draw at home to mid-table Stoke. - Sapa-AFP

X