Beaten Liverpool off the top

November 2nd, 2008 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS  

ChelseaLondon, Nov 2 (DPA) Liverpool lost their grip on top spot in the English Premier League when they were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham Hotspur in their first defeat of the season.Chelsea hammered Sunderland 5-0 to move above the Reds at the top on goal difference, while Spurs moved off the bottom of the table.

Chelsea and Liverpool have 26 points, five points clear of champions Manchester United, who beat Hull City 4-3 in a thriller.

When Dirk Kuyt Saturday fired Liverpool in front inside three minutes, it seemed like Liverpool would retain their three-point cushion over Chelsea at the top.

Liverpool hit the woodwork on at least three occasions and totally dominated Spurs for 65 minutes, but their inability to find a second goal came back to haunt them.

An own goal by Jamie Carragher gave Spurs hope and Roman Pavlyuchenko snatched the win in injury time with a close-range finish.

At Stamford Bridge, it took Chelsea 27 minutes to break down Sunderland but once Alex had scored, the floodgates opened.

Anelka doubled their lead three minutes later and made it 3-0 in first-half injury time. Lampard scored early in the second half and Anelka completed his hat-trick to seal the rout.

“Anelka has played more than in other seasons and he has more confidence now,” Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said.

“He tries his best in every game.”

Champions Manchester United moved up to third, but had to survive a dodgy last few minutes as Hull hit back from 4-1 down to 4-3.

Ronaldo and Michael Carrick had put United 2-0 up before Hull pulled one back through Daniel Cousin. Ronaldo’s second and a Nemanja Vidic goal put United 4-1 up but Bernard Mendy and a Giovanni penalty put the visitors back into it.

In the end, though, United held on to move above both Hull and Arsenal, who were humbled at Stoke.

“I feel a bit low,” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said.

“We should have won by 10 or 11 and we ended up scrambling for a victory. We might have been embarrassed at the end.

“Cristiano Ronaldo could have had four or five on his own and I don’t know how many chances Dimitar Berbatov created.

“I suppose the only thing to take out of it, apart from the win, is the fact we are creating so many opportunities for ourselves.”

Ricardo Fuller put the home side ahead in the 11th minute and Seyi Olofinjana (73) doubled their lead, rendering Gael Clichy’s late goal no more than a consolation.

To add insult to injury, Robin van Persie was sent off for a bad challenge late on.

Louis Saha scored with three minutes to go to give Everton a 1-0 win over his former side Fulham, while a late equalizer from Mido was enough to give Middlesbrough a 1-1 draw at home to West Ham United.

Emile Heskey scored a last-gasp winner for Wigan at Portsmouth, while Benni McCarthy scored in injury time for the second successive week to give Blackburn Rovers a share of the points in a 2-2 draw at West Brom.

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