Newcastle United provided evidence of their survival instincts after twice coming from behind to draw with Manchester United in a thrilling encounter at St James' Park. Wayne Rooney had seemingly put Louis van Gaal's side on course to go within six points of the Premier League summit after scoring in each half but Paul Dummett's 90th minute deflected drive helped Steve McClaren's team go within a point of safety.
Rooney made a timely return to form with a controversial first half penalty, after referee Mike Dean penalised Chancel Mbemba for handball after blocking Marouane Fellaini's header before the England captain brilliantly set-up Jesse Lingard to double the lead. Georginio Wijnaldum converted Aleksandar Mitrovic's knock-down before half-time to give the Toon hope and they were soon level mid-way through the second period.
Dean awarded a second penalty as Chris Smalling wrestled Mitrovic to the floor from a corner, with the Serbian striker stepping up to send David de Gea the wrong way. United were unperturbed however and Rooney stroked past Rob Elliot from 20 yards to re-established the visitors' lead. Marouane Fellaini was then denied by the Newcastle stopped and the miss would prove crucial as Dummett hammered in off Smalling to grab a late equaliser.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa ended a 19-match winless run and handed manager Remi Garde his first victory in charge with thanks to Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey's clanger. Joleon Lescott scored the only goal as the Eagles 'keeper fumbled the ball into his own net in front of their lowest home league attendance of the season.
At the Vitality Stadium, Dimitri Payet marked his first West Ham United start since November with fine individual performance to ruin Benik Afobe's Bournemouth debut. Harry Arter scored from range in the first half but the Hammers continue their impressive away form with a second half comeback.
Payet smashed in a wonderful free-kick to level before beautifully setting up Enner Valencia to put Slaven Bilic's side ahead for the first time. The Ecuadorian international hammered home a late free-kick of his own to cap a win which puts West Ham into fifth, just a point behind fourth place Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League places.
Premier League results:
Aston Villa 1-0 Crystal Palace, AFC Bournemouth 1-3 West Ham United, Newcastle United 3-3 Manchester United.