Penalty controversy keeps Man United at bay | sports | Hindustan Times
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Penalty controversy keeps Man United at bay

sports Updated: Nov 27, 2011 02:13 IST

Manchester United were denied the chance to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City as Demba Ba's controversial penalty gave 10-man Newcastle a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

When Javier Hernandez opened the scoring early in the second half at Old Trafford, United were on course to move within two points of City ahead of their rivals' trip to Liverpool on Sunday. But the reigning champions were left four points adrift of City as Ba equalised 15 minutes later following a dubious decision by referee Mike Jones. United had taken the lead in the 49th minute through Mexican striker Hernandez, who deflected in Steven Taylor's attempted clearance from Wayne Rooney's shot.

Yet Newcastle were level in the most controversial manner in the 64th minute. Rio Ferdinand appeared to win the ball when he tackled Hatem Ben Arfa in the penalty area and Jones initially gave a corner. However, Jones' assistant signalled for a penalty and Senegal striker Ba stepped up to score despite United's protests.

Newcastle survived the final 12 minutes down to 10 men after winger Jonas Gutierrez was sent off for a second booking after fouling Nani.

At Stamford Bridge, fifth placed Chelsea finally got back on track with a comfortable 3-0 win against toothless Wolves.

They got the perfect start when captain John Terry scored with a powerful header from Juan Mata's corner. Mata was the provider again when Daniel Sturridge added Chelsea's second goal with a cool finish.