MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Premier League trophy could be out of reach for Manchester City after a 2-2 home draw with last-placed Sunderland on Wednesday that capped a demoralizing four days for title chasers.
Samir Nasri's 88th-minute equalizer at Etihad Stadium will be of little consolation to City, which is now six points behind league leader Liverpool and four points behind second-place Chelsea.
Third-place City has a game in hand but the surprise result against Sunderland, coupled with Sunday's 3-2 loss at Liverpool, may be a setback too far in its bid for a second championship in three seasons.
"I think we are more mentally tired than physically tired," said City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who is still not giving up hope. "Remember this team, two years ago, were six points behind the leaders and ... won the title at the end. So it is difficult, but it is not the last game we play."
Pressure also seems to have struck Everton's battle for the last Champions League spot with Arsenal.
Everton became the latest team to slip up against Crystal Palace, losing 3-2 at home to end its seven-match winning run and miss the chance of reclaiming fourth place from Arsenal, which is one point ahead with four matches remaining.
"We wanted to win so much that we stopped being ourselves," Everton manager Roberto Martinez said, "and that is what we have to learn from."
Palace's fourth straight win means the side can surely start preparing for another season in the top flight and lends further weight to many pundits' argument that Tony Pulis is the manager of the season. When Pulis took over in November, Palace was bottom and six points from safety — now, it is 11th and 10 points above the relegation zone.
Sunderland is six points from safety with a game in hand, but could have been a lot closer if goalkeeper Vito Mannone had gathered Nasri's shot rather than fumbled it into the back of the net. That could be the difference between staying in the Premier League and being relegated.
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