FOOTBALL: Everton blew a massive hole in Manchester United's title bid with a late fightback at the home of the champions.
Late strikes from Nikica Jelavic, his second of the match, and Steven Pienaar turned a match United were leading 4-2 into a shock 4-4 draw.
United boss Alex Ferguson looked stunned on the home bench as his side handed the initiative in the title race to local rivals Manchester City.
The game began poorly for the home side, with Everton taking a deserved lead after January signing Jelavic rose at the far post to head home a Tony Hibbert cross.
But somewhat inevitably United found another gear following the goal and were level before the break when Wayne Rooney rose to head home a superb left-wing cross from Nani.
The champions came out more positively after the break as Danny Welbeck and Nani scored within three minutes of each other to seemingly put the game out of reach midway through the half.
The goals looked to have settled the home players, crowd and even the game, until the unplayable Marouane Fellaini netted Everton's second goal of the game.
But United once again stepped up the tempo and Rooney netted his 33rd goal of the season moving him into fourth place on United's list of all-time top scorers with 180 goals.
With a crucial game against title rival Manchester City coming up in a week's time, the three points were crucial for United to maintain a significant gap going into the game.
But having lost their last game to Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend, the Toffees had their own agenda to finish the season as strongly as they could.
And with seven minutes left Jelavic netted his second of the game, before Steven Pienaar levelled things up three minutes later, adding another twist to this season's race for the Premier league crown.
"It was a throwaway, an absolute giveaway," said United manager Alex Ferguson after the game.
"We just needed to see the game out and it was a travesty because some of our football was fantastic.
"The goals we scored were great goals. To give away four goals at Old Trafford in a home game like that which was so important to us is unbelievable. I can't believe it.
"We've given City the initiative, there's no question about that. It makes the game at the Etihad Stadium a really important game now. It makes it the title decider really.
"There'll be a reaction from us obviously. There's no question about that. A derby game next Monday against City would always have been a derby game of the highest proportions."