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Sunderland do Manchester United a favour

The 13th matchweek proved to be unlucky for title rivals Chelsea, which failed to capitalise on the lost points of United at Aston Villa. The Blues had the chance of creating a 6-point cushion over United, and 5-point advantage over 2nd-placed Arsenal by winning against Sunderland on Sunday, but they failed to do so. Hence, the title race is open again, with a trio of contenders competing for the first place: Chelsea (28 points), Arsenal (26 points) and Manchester United (25 points). The placings can change next Saturday, 20th November, when all three teams will be playing. Arsenal take on bitter London rivals Tottenham, Chelsea take on Birmigham, and Manchester United face Wigan Athletic.

Jan 14, 2009 - Manchester, United Kingdom - Premier League: Manchester United 1 V 0 Wigan Athletic.Manchester United manager SIR ALEX FERGUSON and Wigan Manager STEVE BRUCE Photo via Newscom

United have Sunderland to thank for treating Chelsea as if they were a bottom-half team rather than the current championship holders. Ferguson has surely given Steve Bruce a thank-you call after the match, congratulating the ex-United-player for this achievement. Bruce played for Manchester United between 1987 and 1996, appearing 309 times for the club as a centre-back and scoring 36 goals. Another person to thank is Man Utd loanee Danny Welbeck, currently at Sunderland to get some first team action. Welbeck showed his ability by scoring the third goal in the 3-0 victory by Sunderland over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The goal was a result of a mistake by Ashley Cole in the 87th minute. Midfielder Jordan Henderson also played in this match for Sunderland, with United reportedly interested in the player.

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