Man Utd shaken by Ba
Manchester United were denied the chance to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City as Demba Ba's controversial penalty gave 10-man Newcastle a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
When Javier Hernandez opened the scoring early in the second half at Old Trafford, United were on course to move to within two points of City ahead of their rivals' trip to Liverpool on Sunday.
But the reigning champions were left four points adrift of City as Ba equalised 15 minutes later following a dubious decision by referee Mike Jones.
United had taken the lead in the 49th minute through Mexican striker Hernandez, who deflected in Steven Taylor's attempted clearance from Wayne Rooney's shot.
Yet Newcastle drew level in the most controversial manner in the 64th minute.
Rio Ferdinand appeared to win the ball when he tackled Hatem Ben Arfa in the penalty area and Jones initially gave a corner.
However, Jones' assistant signalled for a penalty and Senegal striker Ba stepped up to score despite United's protests.
Newcastle survived the final 12 minutes down to 10 men after winger Jonas Gutierrez was sent off for a second booking after fouling Nani.
"It was an absolute travesty. The problem is that assistants are not full-time even if the referees are," Ferguson said.
"I didn't think anyone in the ground thought it was a penalty apart from the assistant referee. The referee thought it was a corner. He was nearer to it. He was only eight yards away."
At Stamford Bridge, fifth-placed Chelsea finally got back on track with a comfortable 3-0 win against toothless Wolves.
After three defeats in their last four league matches and a painful Champions League loss at Bayer Leverkusen in mid-week, under-fire boss Andre Villas-Boas could not afford another slip at home to one of the division's strugglers.
They got the perfect start when captain John Terry scored with a powerful header from Juan Mata's corner.
Mata was the provider again when Daniel Sturridge added Chelsea's second goal in the 29th minute.
Spain star Mata completed his virtuoso display with the third goal on the stroke of half-time.
"It was a really important result," Villas-Boas said.
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen went from zero to hero as his late goal rescued a 1-1 draw against Fulham at the Emirates Stadium.
Belgian defender Vermaelen turned Danny Murphy's chipped pass into his own net in the 65th minute, but he scored at the right end in the 82nd minute, heading in Theo Walcott's cross to extend Arsenal's unbeaten run to 11 matches.
Arsenal 1 (Vermaelen 82) Fulham 1 (Vermaelen 65-og)
Bolton 0 Everton 2 (Fellaini 49, Vellios 78)
Chelsea 3 (Terry 7, Sturridge 29,
Mata 45) Wolverhampton 0
Manchester Utd 1 (Hernandez 49) Newcastle 1 (Ba 64-pen)
Norwich 2 (Martin 15, Holt 73)
QPR 1 (Young 59)
Stoke 3 (Delap 28, Whelan 58, Crouch 72) Blackburn 1 (Rochina 86)
Sunderland 1 (Larsson 8) Wigan 2 (Gomez 44-pen, Di Santo 90)
West Bromwich 1 (Mulumbu 10) Tottenham 3
(Adebayor 25, 90, Defoe 81)