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Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009

Liverpool shakes off miserable run of form to beat United

LONDON (AP) Liverpool beat Manchester United 2-0 to end its four-game losing streak and keep Chelsea at the top of the Premier League on Sunday, while Arsenal and Manchester City threw away two-goal leads and were held to draws.

News photo
Seeing red: Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt is fouled by Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic during their match on Sunday at Anfield. The Reds won 2-0. AP PHOTO

Arsenal was held 2-2 at next-to-last West Ham but still moved above Tottenham to third while Man City failed to hold on to a comfortable lead at home to Fulham and drew 2-2. Bolton edged Everton 3-2 in Sunday's other game.

Goals by Fernando Torres and David Ngog earned Liverpool its third straight Premier League victory over the club which has become its closest rival and last season tied its record 18 league title triumphs.

Despite two defeats in the league and two in the Champions League, Liverpool outplayed Man United even without injured captain and most influential player Steven Gerrard.

"The players have answered a lot of questions and that's the most important thing," said Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez. "We have to keep going. We can't get too excited about today.

"The team is better than people think."

Man United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar made a top-quality diving save to keep out a free kick by Fabio Aurelio in the 15th minute but Liverpool was rewarded for its improved play by taking the lead in the 65th.

Torres collected a through ball from Yossi Benayoun and held off Rio Ferdinand before shooting into the roof of the net.

Michael Owen went on as a late United substitute to a chorus of boos from the Liverpool fans who used to idolize him and set up Antonio Valencia for an angled shot which hit the bar.

United center back Nemanja Vidic was sent off for second yellow card in the 90th minute and was followed by Liverpool's Javier Mascherano. They will both miss this week's League Cup games.

With United caught upfield Liverpool broke out for Ngog to race clear and score the second to leave Alex Ferguson disappointed with United's performance.

"It was a bad performance by us. We didn't handle the atmosphere of the game," he said. "Liverpool were the better team they created more chances. They deserved their victory. We let ourselves down with our penetration."

French rivals brawl

PARIS (AP) Violence broke out between soccer fans on Sunday after Paris Saint-Germain's French league match at fierce rival Marseille was postponed because a third PSG player was diagnosed with swine flu.

The French league said on its Web site that it made the decision based on advice from its medical commission. No new date for the match had been set.

The violence between Marseille and PSG fans started in downtown Marseille. Police used tear gas to stop the clashes, while about 60 Parisian fans were kept apart from Marseille supporters near the city's old port area. Other incidents were reported near the train station.

Earlier in the afternoon, police had to intervene after about 100 PSG fans — some of them wearing shirts emblazoned with the emblem used by hardcore supporters — started a fight.

PSG president Robin Leproux said his club was working with Marseille's security officials and police to help Parisian fans return to the capital as soon as possible.

"As we speak, there are no serious injuries, but a lot of minor injuries," Leproux said at a news conference.

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