London: Manchester Unitedís eight-game winning run ended on Sunday as Garry Flitcroftís goal late in the first half gave Blackburn Rovers a 1-0 Premier League victory at Ewood Park.
But neither Everton or Liverpool were able to take major advantage after they cancelled each other out in fiercely-contested goalless Merseyside derby at Anfield.
Arsenal still lead the standings on 39 points after their 2-0 home win over Middlesbrough on Saturday. Chelsea, who beat Aston Villa by the same score at Stamford Bridge, are second on 37.
Manchester United are third on 35, Everton fourth on 33 and Liverpool, who have taken just two points from the last 21, fifth on 32. Blackburn moved up to ninth on 27 points.
United, who had won nine and drawn one of their previous 10 games in all competitions since losing 3-1 to Manchester City on November 9, were punished for failing to turn their neat, quick football into good chances.
Blackburn hardly threatened before taking the lead. Damien Duff swung in a deep free kick which eventually fell to Flitcroft who fired a bouncing shot past Fabien Barthez from 12 metres.
It was the first goal United had conceded in more than eight hours of play, following five successive clean sheets in three competitions.
There was some good news for United after an hour with the introduction of Roy Keane for his first appearance since August but neither the inspirational Irish midfielder, who had undergone hip surgery, or fellow substitute David Beckham, could fashion an equaliser.
Ruud van Nistelrooy shot wide with Unitedís best chance of the match in the 65th minute.
England defender Sol Campbell and Frenchman Robert Pires scored for Arsenal.