News24

Reds keep hopes alive

2009-03-04 06:56

London - Liverpool beat Sunderland 2-0 to keep alive its faint hopes of catching Manchester United at the top of the English Premier League on Tuesday.

While the second-half goals by David Ngog and Yossi Benayoun weren't enough to regain second place from Chelsea, which won 1-0 at Portsmouth, Liverpool closed to within four points of the leader with its first league win in three matches.

Liverpool has 58 points from 28 games and trails Chelsea only by goal difference. Defending champion United, which won the League Cup on Sunday for its second title of the season, has played two games fewer than the trailing pair and plays the first of those matches at Newcastle on Wednesday.

Liverpool had led the league for much of the season until a run of eight draws and a loss from 14 matches allowed in-form United to overtake and establish a firm advantage.

The Reds looked set to continue their poor showing on Tuesday until Ngog put his team ahead in the 52nd minute. Benayoun, who scored in the 1-0 Champions League win that preceded Saturday's poor 2-0 loss at Middlesbrough, burst down the left and crossed into the area, where Steven Gerrard headed back to Ngog for the striker's first club goal.

Benayoun then scored from close range in the 65th after Sunderland goalkeeper Marton Fulop dropped the ball at his feet.

"I'm happy with the goal, but the most important thing is the points," Benayoun said. "After we lost against Middlesbrough, it was important to come back to winning ways.

"We were very disappointed. We expected to beat Middlesbrough - but we did a job tonight."

Chelsea, meanwhile, continued its perfect record under temporary coach Guus Hiddink with a fourth straight win for the Dutchman.

Didier Drogba, who spent much of the season injured or out of favor until Hiddink's arrival last month, swept in a 79th-minute cross into the area by on-loan winger Ricardo Quaresma for just his fifth goal of the season.

Arsenal won 3-1 at West Bromwich Albion in Tuesday's other game to put more pressure on fourth-place Aston Villa ahead of its meeting with Manchester City in one of Wednesday's seven matches.

Nicklas Bendtner, criticized for his part in Arsenal's fourth straight 0-0 result against Fulham on Saturday, scored twice in the first half. Kolo Toure got the other goal in the 38th.

The Gunners moved up to 49 points, three fewer than Villa and the fourth qualifying spot for next season's Champions League.

In the second-tier League Championship, longtime leader Wolverhampton Wanderers ended its five-match winless run with a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace. Wolves have 67 points, five more than second-place Birmingham, which hosts Bristol City on Wednesday.

AP

Comments
  • Carlsberg - 2009-03-04 07:40

    Benayoun has been brilliant lately... And he's right, we HAVE to get back to winning ways!

  • Frank_Lampard - 2009-03-04 09:11

    I absolutely hate Liverpool but there's no denying the class in the team. As long as Chelsea,Man U & Liverpool are in the top 4,Its always gonna be a good end to this season. But It will be Even Better to see Chelsea Claim it...High Hopes? Your Mother

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-04 09:30

    Just as long as you realise your next game is going to hurt. Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide...

  • Shankly's Kin - 2009-03-04 10:03

    performance by the guys, could have been more goals, but none the less effective. This is how we should play against the "lesser" Premiership teams. To be fair, Sunderland actually allowed us to play and didn't park the bus completely in front of goal. They clogged up midfield, but still left some space in front of their back four. We always do create chances, even if other teams play their whole 11in the box as defence, but we've never been clinical enough. This is the difference between where we should be (1st) and where we are (3rd). And even after last night, I still think our finishing needs to improve. Torres needs to come back...SOON!!! Well done Rafa. Some pundits and fans keep giving him hell when we draw or lose, but there's always chances in the game, and Rafa's not the one on the end of the crosses to put the ball in the back of the net. He's just there to prepare the team as best he can. The rest is up to players and their ability and intuition. Keep up the good work Benitez. 08/09 will not be fruitless for The Reds.

  • the kop - 2009-03-04 10:12

    Anonymous User 3/4/2009 9:30 AM-------------> why must we run and hide???? utd might be on good form but they haven't beaten us yet have they??????

  • Carlsberg - 2009-03-04 10:16

    Not nice being beaten home and away hey Frank? And Anonymous, you should know that Liverpool always keep their best for the big games... There's nothing to fear at Old Trafford. If we loose it'll be because Man U were better on the day (just as we were earlier in the season), and that's ok. In the bigger picture I don't think United can be overtaken, but one on one you never know...

  • Shankly's Kin - 2009-03-04 13:33

    Well said Carlsberg. And last season at Old Trafford might have been different, had Masch not been sent off for doing the same thing United and Chelski players do week in and week out. Van der Sa was shaking in his boots early in that game, just like he did earlier in the season at Anfield. March 14th, bring it on!!!!! It's going to be a cracker. And Anon(9:30am), we don't shake in our boots for no one. Not Juve, not Inter, not AC Milan, not Chelsea, not Arsenal, Not Barce, Not Real, and MOST CERTAINLY NOT united. You'll Never Walk Alone...Liverpool F.C for Life!!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-04 16:05

    Dont worry, you wont walk alone. You just wont walk with the premiership. Not this season, not next season, not while Fergie is there, and most certainly not while your rotational policy coach is there...

  • RyanGiggs - 2009-03-04 23:16

    Why cant u get a brew at Anfield? Because all the mugs are on the pitch and all the cups are at Old Trafford.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-05 08:46

    to the kop@10.12am! you are rite my friend United havent beaten liverpool YET!!! but Uniteds season is far bigger than just concentrating on the Liverpool game! remember 5 trophies not just the league!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-05 08:58

    HAHAHAHAHA GOOD ONE RYAN GIGGS!!! GLORY GLORY MAN UNITED!!!

  • Shaheen - 2009-03-05 09:17

    Eh.... when will it ever end? LOL... probably never for as long as United and Liverpool exist. Anwyays, to cut a long story short... Our season is much bigger than the clash at Old Trafford. I suppose if Liverpool do the double over us then its a successful season for them. Oh need I remind you that Liverpool hasn't won at OT since 2004? Either way, to ad insult to injury Fergie will make 8 changes and we'll still win!

  • Nazeem - 2009-03-05 15:42

    Can I please get the name of the dealer you Liverpool guys are getting your fixes from??? I also want to have visions of winning stuff, like the Euro lotto, or the local lotto...

  • the kop - 2009-03-06 08:16

    come to the lfc supporters club on the 14th we'll give you a fix.......

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-06 10:50

    LFC supporters club should concentrate on fixing your team not the other supporters!!!

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