LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United's top-four hopes suffered another setback as goalkeeper David De Gea's own goal cost them a 2-1 defeat at Premier League strugglers Sunderland on Saturday.
Louis van Gaal's side had improved since the turn of the year but the gloom descended again on a raw day in north east as they slipped to a defeat that left them six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City having played one more game.
Anthony Martial equalised for United shortly before halftime after Wahbi Khazri's third-minute free kick evaded De Gea who was embarrassed again eight minutes from time when he diverted Lamine Kone's header into his own goal.
Defeat boosted second-from-bottom Sunderland's survival hopes and left United looking down rather than up as Southampton closed to within a point of them in sixth after Shane Long's goal sealed a 1-0 win at Swansea City.
West Ham United are also a point behind United after coming back from two goals down at Norwich to draw 2-2.
West Bromwich Albion eased their relegation fears, winning 1-0 at mid-table Everton, but Bournemouth's 3-1 home defeat by Stoke City left the south coast club too close to the bottom three for comfort.
Emmanuel Adebayor scored his first goal since joining Crystal Palace but could not prevent a sixth defeat in seven matches for Alan Pardew's side who were beaten 2-1 at home by Watford.
Chelsea host Newcastle United later on Saturday.
The Premier League's top four all play on Sunday with leaders Leicester City at third-placed Arsenal before fourth-placed Manchester City host second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)