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Monday, Oct. 24, 2011

Reds held at Anfield; Holt scores equalizer

AP

LONDON — Liverpool was given a reality check on Saturday as promoted Norwich drew 1-1 at Anfield while Newcastle extended its unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 1-0 victory against Wigan.

News photo
Seeing red: Liverpool's Luis Suarez (right) vies for the ball against Norwich City's Russel Martin on Saturday at Anfield. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. AP

Craig Bellamy marked his first league start since returning to Liverpool in August with a goal in first-half stoppage time, but substitute Grant Holt leveled for Norwich on the hour.

"You don't expect to get much at these grounds," said Holt, whose side rose to seventh.

Fifth-place Liverpool is already four points adrift of fourth-place Newcastle which went a ninth match without a loss.

Yohan Cabaye curled the ball into the net in the 81st minute to send Wigan bottom with a sixth successive loss.

Wigan is in the relegation zone with Bolton, which lost 2-0 at home to Sunderland after late goals from Stephane Sessegnon and Nicklas Bendtner.

But Wolverhampton Wanderers fought back from two goals down against Swansea to salvage a 2-2 draw and end a run of five consecutive league losses.

In a West Midlands derby, Paul Scharner secured a 2-1 victory for West Bromwich over Aston Villa.

Manchester rivals City and United are leading the way in the league and were set to meet on Sunday at Old Trafford.

But Liverpool is already seven points behind the pacesetters and has played a game more.

Bellamy had set Kenny Dalglish's side on course for a victory after his low shot deflected into the net off Marc Tierney.

But Liverpool's failure to capitalize on a host of goal-scoring opportunities and its leaky defense allowed Norwich to level.

Just three minutes after coming off the bench, Holt powered home a 60th-minute header after goalkeeper Pepe Reina came for — and missed — Anthony Pilkington's cross.

At St. James' Park, Cabaye scored his first goal since joining Newcastle from Lille in the offseason.

The midfielder curled home a knock-back by Sylvain Marveaux after Newcastle had struggled for most of the match and failed to create clear-cut chances.

"It needed a bit of magic and it was a great goal, the technique was top class," Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said.

At Bolton, Sunderland scored two goals in the last eight minutes to win its second match of the campaign.

Sessegnon produced a crisp finish in the 82nd after Chris Eagles lost his footing, allowing the Cote d'Ivoire midfielder to turn smartly before slotting the ball into the net.

Sessegnon then turned provider, running at the Bolton defense and putting a ball through for the unmarked Bendtner to score.

There were also late goals at Wolverhampton, which trailed 2-0 to Swansea at halftime after goals from Danny Graham and Joe Allen.

Kevin Doyle began the Wolves recovery with an 84th-minute strike after goalkeeper Michel Vorm parried Sam Vokes' shot.

And Doyle charged down the right flank before setting up Jamie O'Hara for the equalizer that could ease the pressure slightly on manager Mick McCarthy.

"We were as low as we could be to be honest at halftime," Doyle said. "We've lost five in a row and it looked like we were going to lose six, but we came back. It's a massive point for us. Everyone's high as a kite after being down in the dumps after 84 minutes."

West Brom earned its first league victory at Villa Park for 32 years after coming from behind.

Villa went ahead through Darren Bent's 23rd-minute penalty after West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster brought down Gabriel Agbonlahor.



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