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Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010

Liverpool climbs to 12th in EPL

LONDON (AP) Liverpool maintained its strong play under new American ownership, defeating Bolton 1-0 in the English Premier League on Sunday on an 86th-minute goal by Argentine midfielder Maxi Rodriguez.

Liverpool won its second straight league game and advanced six spots to 12th place, three points behind fifth-place Tottenham. Chelsea is in first by five points after beating Blackburn 2-1 on Saturday.

Since being taken over by New England Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool has won two of its three league matches and drew at Napoli in the Europa League.

Rodriguez scored after receiving a back flick from Fernando Torres and poked the ball past Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Bolton could have taken the lead earlier, but a long volley by U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden was saved by Pepe Reina.

Elsewhere, American goalkeeper Brad Friedel made excellent saves for Aston Villa in a 0-0 draw against Birmingham. Friedel was busy in the first half, keeping out two shots by Keith Fahey. Villa came close to winning when Ashley Young hit the post in the final minute. Villa has 12 points, one ahead of Birmingham, but has won only once in the league since August.

Kevin Nolan scored a hat trick and Shola Amoebi netted twice for Newcastle, which routed 10-man Sunderland 5-1.

Villarreal earns draw

MADRID (AP) New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi scored on a penalty kick deep into injury time, allowing Villarreal to salvage a 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon and stay close to first-place Real Madrid in the Spanish League.

American forward Jozy Altidore entered for Villarreal in the 71st minute, replacing Ruben "Cani" Garcia. It was Altidore's first La Liga appearance since Dec. 14, 2008, at Sevilla. Altidore managed a few touches and had no shots on goal.

Rossi scored after Carlos Marchena was tugged down inside the Sporting area. Rossi beat Juan Pablo Colinas in the 94th minute for his sixth goal of the season.

Gonzalo Rodriguez handled the ball inside the penalty area to set up Sporting's goal. Diego Castro scored with a 69th-minute penalty kick.

Hasegawa finished

SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) Shimizu S-Pulse will not bring back manager Kenta Hasegawa for the 2011 season, the J. League first-division club announced on Monday.

No replacement was immediately named. Shimizu, who again have faded down the stretch in the title race and was beaten 2-1 at home by 14th-place FC Tokyo last weekend, said Hasegawa did not resign.

Barring a miracle, Hasegawa's side will not win the league for the sixth straight season. S-Pulse are currently in sixth place, 15 points off the pace of Nagoya Grampus with six games remaining.

Shimizu was also eliminated in the semifinals of the Nabisco Cup, and its last shot at silverware under Hasegawa is the Emperor's Cup. S-Pulse plays away to Yokohama F. Marinos in the round of 16 on Nov. 17.

The 45-year-old Hasegawa was a star striker for Shimizu during his playing career. The former Japan international took control of S-Pulse in 2005 and led them to the Emperor's Cup final that year.

But Hasegawa's side have never finished higher than fourth in the league, in 2006 and 2007. Shimizu was on top of the table at the halfway point this season, but has only picked up nine points in 11 matches since.

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