Goals from Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri ensured that Manchester City pick up all three points with a 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are effectively relegated from the Barclays Premier League.
The win restores City’s ability to control their own destiny as they now trail league leaders Manchester United by only three points, with two rivals set to meet at the Etihad Stadium next Monday.
United began the day with a two-point lead but the visiting Everton ensured that the defending champions do not go five points clear at the summit when they twice came from two goals behind to draw 4-4 at Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, and Nani all scored following Nikica Jelavic’s curling first-half header to hand United a 3-1 advantage a little past the hour-mark.
However, Marouane Fellaini seemed to have brought the Toffes back into the contest just six minutes later, when he volleyed past David De Gea from close range.
Unfortunately for David Moyes’ men, it only took Rooney two minutes to re-appear on the score sheet as he clinically squeezed between the visitors’ defense to slide past Tim Howard from inside the box.
With United leading 4-2 up until the 83rd minute, there was no clear indication of Everton mounting another fight-back but January signing Jelavic kick-started an unlikely revival by tucking it into net with seven minutes left in regulation.
Two minutes after Jelavic’s goal, Steven Pienaar also found the net to spark brilliant scenes of celebration in the visitors’ end of the stadium and presumably also in the blue half of Manchester.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s dumbfounded expression at the touchline said it all at the full time whistle: the title race is at the knife’s edge as United head to the Eastlands with their crown on the line.
In Sunday’s other fixture at Anfield, West Bromwich Albion’s Peter Odemwingie scored the match’s only goal in the 75th minute goal to condemn Liverpool to a yet another shocking league defeat.
Baggies boss Roy Hodgson was given a nice reception by the Reds’ faithful, who saw him sacked as their manager 15 months ago.
While Sunday’s matches featured plenty of action, Saturday started off on an uneventful note with goalless draw played out between Arsenal and Chelsea, Aston Villa and Sunderland.
Also on Saturday, two goals from Yohan Cabaye helped Newcastle move into fourth place with a 3-0 win at home to Stoke City as Tottenham slumped to a 1-0 defeat at QPR.
At Craven Cottage, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Philippe Senderos scored after Emmerson Boyce’s opening strike to help Fulham claim a come-from-behind 2-1 win over in-form Wigan, thus preventing the Latics from claiming a second consecutive win in London within a five-day period.
Lastly, Blackburn defeated Norwich 2-0 to boost their chances of survival but fellow relegation-threatened side Bolton dropped two crucial points at home to Swansea City after only managing a 1-1 draw.