Comeback winners Liverpool keep pace with Chelsea at top

October 6th, 2008 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

ChelseaLondon, Oct 6 (DPA) Liverpool staged a superb second-half fightback to win 3-2 at Manchester City and keep pace with Chelsea at the top of the English Premier League.Chelsea eased to a 2-0 win over Aston Villa, while Liverpool Sunday needed two goals from Fernando Torres and a late winner by Dirk Kuyt to come from 2-0 down for victory at the Eastlands Stadium.

The results mean both sides are level on 17 points, three points clear of Hull City, who continued their stunning start to their first season in the top flight by winning 1-0 at bottom side Tottenham Hotspur.

First-half goals from Joe Cole and Nicolas Anelka put Chelsea in control at Stamford Bridge and Villa never really looked like getting back into the game.

Cole put them ahead in the 21st minutes and Anelka doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, pouncing at the second attempt, leaving Villa manager Martin O’Neill in awe of the home side, who have now gone 86 league games at Stamford Bridge without defeat.

“I thought Chelsea were brilliant today,” he said. “Absolutely brilliant. We needed our best players to play at their peak to compete.

“It was a harsh lesson. I really thought this morning that we would win the game.”

Liverpool looked set to lose their unbeaten start to the season when they trailed 2-0 to Manchester City at half-time, through goals by Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido.

But Rafael Benitez’s side came out firing after the break and Torres pulled one back before Pablo Zabaleta was sent off for a bad challenge on Xabi Alonso.

With City down to 10 men, Torres levelled in the 73rd minute and Kuyt popped up at the far post two minutes into injury time to give the visitors a stunning win with his first league goal in almost a year.

“I’m really pleased,” Rafael Benitez said, despite a late knee injury to defender Martin Skrtel, which will see him require a scan.

“The positive thing is the positive reaction after the first half with two mistakes with both goals. The reaction and character that we saw in the second half was key, the belief of the players that we could win.”

Hull are now third after their 1-0 win at hapless Tottenham, where Geovanni scored a brilliant first-half goal that eventually proved to be enough, piling the pressure on Spurs manager Juande Ramos.

West Ham, who began the day just two points behind Chelsea and Liverpool, lost ground on the leaders when they were upset 3-1 at home by Bolton Wanderers.

Kevin Davies and Gary Cahill put the visitors 2-0 up and though Carlton Cole pulled one back for West Ham, Matthew Taylor hit a superb free-kick to give Bolton their first league win of the season.

And an overhead kick by Peter Crouch was the highlight as Portsmouth edged out another promoted side Stoke City 2-1.

In the day’s late game, Newcastle United came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Everton in the first game under caretaker manager Joe Kinnear.

A Mikel Arteta penalty put the home side ahead and Marouane Fellaini made it 2-0, but Stephen Taylor pulled one back just before half-time and Damien Duff scored the equaliser.

Taylor said the character of his team-mates had been the most impressive thing.

“The second-half performance from the lads was fantastic,” he said. “It has been difficult for us and we have taken a lot of flak. We got a point today and it is important to go on from here.”

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