Roberto Mancini gained a bonus point from The Emirates but saw goalkeeper Shay Given's season possibly ended by a dislocated shoulder with City's Champions League place in the balance.
Blues boss Mancini's simple maths formula - match Tottenham's results and beat them at home on May 5 - put City 'in front' with the 0-0 draw at Arsenal after Spurs' demise at Old Trafford.
But his team could now have to make the equation produce fourth place without Republic of Ireland keeper Given, who was stretchered off in considerable pain in a dramtic second half.
Faroese rookie Gunnar Nielsen, 23, stepped in for his Blues debut and could face Aston Villa, Tottenham and West Ham with regular No.2 Stuart Taylor recovering from knee surgery and only due back in training next week.
Mancini admitted: "Shay's injury will be a problem. It's not good for us because Shay is a fantastic goalkeeper. He is important to us, but in football you can always get injured.
"Shay is in hospital, but we have ten days and must play three big games. Gunnar came on and did very well. Stuart is still some way off and everyone must be 200 per cent now."
But Mancini was bullish about the draw that cut Tottenham's lead, saying: "Now I think we can get ten points - this one plus the other nine!
It was a difficult game but in the end a draw was the right result
"They played better than us in the first half - they had more possession - but in the second half we played better.
"We wanted to win, but we had a problem with Manu against United so for this game he started on the bench. If not, we would have started with Manu and Carlos. If you can't win, then a draw is OK.
"Man United v Tottenham was a good result for us, and we are very close. We have three games - if we win them, then it is finished. But before anything else we must think about Villa."
Left-back Wayne Bridge, who has endured an injury-interrupted season, limped off but Mancini said: "For Wayne it is not a big problem, he will be available next week."