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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

United Stumbles, Rivals Hit Form

LONDON -- As Manchester United dropped more points in another home draw, this time against Leeds 0-0, consensus grew that it might not after all have the English championship sewn up yet.


The champion side has threatened to gallop away with its second successive title -- and it still might. But chinks have begun to appear in its seemingly impenetrable armor after four draws in five home games.


And while United drops points at home, challengers Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal have hit impressive form to suggest a possible three-horse title race rather than a one-horse canter.


Arsenal has won four of its last five matches and scored 10 goals in the last three as strikers Kevin Campbell and Ian Wright enjoyed a holiday goal feast. Both scored in Saturday's 3-0 win at Wimbledon.


Blackburn scored its fifth win in its last six games thanks to the lethal form of England striker Alan Shearer, whose seventh goal in those matches earned it a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on Saturday.


United has seen a 15-point lead reduced to 12 by Blackburn, who also has a game in hand. Arsenal trails by 14 points.


Shearer said he believed Blackburn could still catch United, and Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear insisted Arsenal was also capable of winning the title.


Blackburn manager Kenny Dalglish also refused to concede the title.


"There are no trophies being handed out at this stage of the season," said Dalglish. "We can dictate our own destiny by getting as much as we can from every league game. But for anyone to gain ground on United, they have to drop points."


Shearer said: "We can still catch them. We just hope they continue to drop points while we keep winning."Kinnear said: "I don't think it's over yet. Arsenal have got enough strength in depth to have a real go at Manchester United.


"Everyone mentions United's strength in depth but Arsenal had England internationals Paul Merson and Martin Keown on the bench today and people like Alan Smith and Anders Limpar were not in the side.


"United will be hard to catch, though, as they are more exciting, but Arsenal have the power."


Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson admitted to some frustration at his side's latest home draw but said the result was more costly to rival Leeds, which was third before the game.


"They had to come here and beat us but, like us, they had players missing through injuries and I think their legs went," Ferguson said.


"It is all to do with the crowded program of matches teams have to face at this time of year -- particularly with the grounds so heavy.


"It was frustrating all right," added Ferguson. "But at least we've come through a December program that was always going to be tough with our lead at the top more or less intact, and we've started the New Year by maintaining our advantage over Leeds."


United veteran Bryan Robson added: "We were surprised Leeds set their stall out so strongly when they really needed to close the gap on us with a win. The result is a bigger setback for them than it is for us."


United remained unbeaten in December despite facing some tough opponents, including Newcastle, Aston Villa and Blackburn. If it stretches its unbeaten league run to 18 games at Liverpool on Tuesday, Ferguson believes it will have weathered the worst.


And with a formidable away record of six wins out of seven, they are still firmly in the driving seat.


Arsenal boss George Graham was reluctant to speculate on United's form.


"We will just keep plugging away but I don't want to talk about Manchester United's lead," he said.