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Bent burns United with late goal

Manchester, England ( - Manchester United's hopes of reaching the top four were dealt a huge blow on Sunday as Darren Bent scored deep into stoppage time to help Fulham earn a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

Steve Sidwell's 18th-minute goal for Fulham held up until the 78th minute when United leveled the contest through Robin van Persie.

Michael Carrick's goal two minutes later had United in position to claim three crucial points, but Bent's close-range header just before the final whistle stunned the home side and leaves the Red Devils nine points back of fourth- place Liverpool.

United dominated possession throughout the game with Fulham sitting back and attempting to hit on the break.

And that strategy worked in the 19th minute to put the Cottagers ahead as a lofted pass from Lewis Holtby was volleyed into the bottom corner of the net by Sidwell, who made a darting run through the middle of the United defense.

Van Persie missed a great chance in the 22nd minute when he volleyed over the net from a few yards, while United continued to spend the majority of the match in the Fulham half of the field.

Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg produced a wonderful save on Wayne Rooney in the 55th minute to keep his team in front, but the home side finally found the breakthrough 12 minutes from time.

Juan Mata drove a low ball through the face of goal and it found Van Persie at the back post where he turned his shot past Stekelenburg from a few yards.

Two minutes later United took the lead when a cross from Adnan Januzaj was cleared only as far as Carrick, whose 20-yard shot took a deflection on its way past Stekelenburg.

United appeared to have survived the scare, but Fulham put together a late attack that produced the equalizer as Kieran Richardson's shot was saved by David De Gea, allowing Bent to follow up and score on the rebound.

The result keeps Fulham on the bottom of the table and moves the club to within four points of safety.

Tottenham 1, Everton 0

London, England - Tottenham's top-four hopes got a boost on Sunday as Emmanuel Adebayor's goal in the 65th minute was the difference in a 1-0 Spurs victory over Everton at White Hart Lane.

Fourth-place Liverpool's resounding 5-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday moved the Reds six points clear of Tottenham, but Adebayor's timely strike helped his side keep pace and reduce that deficit back to just three points.

Everton entered the match one point clear of Tottenham in fifth place and the Toffees had the better of the play in the opening 45 minutes with Leon Osman proving tough to handle for the Tottenham defense.

Osman's best effort came on a well-struck volley that forced a fine diving stop from Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who saw his side improve after the break.

Chances were still at a premium for both sides until a quickly-taken free kick from Kyle Walker in midfield released Adebayor, who held off a defender and fired a low shot inside the left post.

02/09 13:19:27 ET

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