English Premiership

Ten-man Utd top Premiership

2011-01-16 20:17

London - Ten-man Manchester United returned to the top of the Premier League on Sunday after holding Tottenham to a 0-0 draw in a match that failed to live up to expectations.

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United's hard-earned point saw them reclaim top spot from Manchester City on goal difference, although Sir Alex Ferguson's unbeaten side have two games in hand over their bitter local rivals.

An open encounter at White Hart Lane never quite caught fire, and United were forced onto the defensive in the final stages after fullback Rafael Da Silva was sent off for his second yellow card.

The result leaves Spurs in fifth place on 37 points, eight points off the lead and one point behind Chelsea, who occupy the fourth Champions League spot.

"It was a tough game," United manager Ferguson said afterwards.

"Tottenham are in a great bit of form, but they really didn't make many chances against us and we can take credit for that.

"We were a bit careless with the use of the ball. But overall it's a decent point for us you so we can't complain. Our defenders were particularly good."

Spurs defender Michael Dawson expressed frustration that his side had not been able to make their extra man advantage count in the closing stages.

"We're a bit disappointed we didn't get three points, but there you go," Dawson said.

It was the fourth score draw of a packed Premier League fixture list on Sunday, which had earlier seen Liverpool draw 2-2 with Merseyside rivals Everton in an emotional Anfield homecoming for Kenny Dalglish.

Dalglish appeared to be heading for his third consecutive defeat since taking over from Roy Hodgson, after two second-half goals in seven minutes from Sylvain Distin and Jermaine Beckford gave Everton a 2-1 lead.

But Liverpool - who had taken a first-half lead through Raul Meireles - fought back to secure a draw courtesy of a Dirk Kuyt penalty on 68 minutes after Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard upended Maxi Rodriguez.

The atmosphere inside Anfield had been electric before kick-off as the Kop roared out "You'll Never Walk Alone" to mark Dalglish's return to the home dugout for the first time in 20 years.

Dalglish later praised the character of his players for coming back after trailing early in the second half.

"After five minutes of the second half we were 2-1 down, but the players attitude and desire to get back in the game was really something," Dalglish told the BBC.

"It was fantastic. We could have been more than one up but we were really pleased with the way we played and that's great credit to the players who have had to adjust to the new ways of playing and training."

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