Premier League Roundup, Jan. 9

Manchester United profited from a contentious own goal to salvage a

1-1 draw at Birmingham but missed a chance to go top of the Premier

League.

Birmingham believed that defender Scott Dann’s inadvertent

goal should not have been given because Wayne Rooney appeared to be

in an offside position.

But the draw enabled Birmingham, which led at half time

through Cameron Jerome’s goal, to extend its unbeaten topflight run

to a club-record 12 matches.

United ended the match with 10 men after midfielder Darren

Fletcher was sent off in the closing stages for a second bookable

offense.

“Birmingham are in real good form,” United manager Alex

Ferguson said. “They work so hard and make it difficult for you so

we’ve got to be satisfied with a point, particularly as we’ve ended

with 10 men.”

The champions are one point behind Chelsea, which has a game

in hand after its clash with Hull was one of five matches to fall

victim to the deep freeze gripping the country.

Third-place Arsenal was held 2-2 by Everton in the only other

weekend match to survive the coldest temperatures for more than 30

years in Britain. Both Sunday’s matches, including fourth-place

Tottenham’s trip to Liverpool, were also postponed.

At a freezing St. Andrews, Birmingham went ahead in the 39th

with its first decent chance. United failed to deal with James

McFadden’s corner, Lee Bowyer headed the ball back across goal and

it bounced off Johnny Evans to Jerome, who slotted home from six

meters (yards) for his fifth goal of the campaign.

United leveled in the 63rd amid confusion. Dann was under

pressure from Park Ji-Sung when he turned a low cross from Patrice

Evra past Joe Hart, but the referee’s assistant appeared to have

been flagging for offside against Wayne Rooney.

Referee Mark Clattenburg consulted with one of his assistants

before awarding the goal, leading to protests from Birmingham

players and manager Alex McLeish.

Birmingham had a man advantage from the 84th after Fletcher

was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Jerome having been

booked just before half time for a challenge on Bowyer.

And Ferguson risked another touchline ban and fine for

hitting out at the referee’s “weird decisions.” The 68-year-old

Scot was banned for four matches – two suspended – for questioning

the fitness of Alan Wiley after October’s draw with Sunderland.

“I’ve not seen a softer sending-off for a long time. It’s

absolutely ridiculous, really,” Ferguson said. “I’ve been watching

Mark Clattenburg this season. He did the Arsenal-Tottenham game –

you had to have someone hit with an ax before he’d book anyone in

that game, and he sends a player off here.”

At Emirates Stadium, Everton gave Los Angeles Galaxy forward

Landon Donovan his debut after his arrival earlier this week to

start his 10-week loan spell. The American provided the corner that

was headed home in the 12th minute by Leon Osman, who then

inadvertently handed Arsenal an equalizer in the 28th.

Denilson charged down a clearance, and the ball fell to

Andrei Arshavin on the edge of the penalty area. Arshavin fed

Eduardo da Silva, who touched a pass back to Denilson and his low

strike deflected off Osman past Howard.

As snow continued to blow around the stadium, Donovan came

close to restoring Everton’s lead at the start of the second half.

Donovan weaved his way into the penalty area, but his curling

shot drifted wide. Everton striker Louis Saha also had a long-range

attempt deflected wide.

Everton, which replaced Donovan with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov in

the 68th, went ahead again in the 81st when Steven Pienaar raced on

to a pass from Tim Cahill and chipped goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

James Vaughan could have given Everton a two-goal cushion

when clean through but Almunia saved his shot – and Tomas Rosicky

leveled in stoppage time when Lucas Neill deflected his shot to

wrong-foot Howard.

“We played really well and deserved a victory,” Everton

manager David Moyes said. “We had better chances than Arsenal and a

lot of possession – we deserved more than a point.”