Liverpool not only achieved a famous comeback win at Manchester City thanks to an injury time goal from Dirk
, it was also coaxed into playing the kind of attacking soccer that might finally win it back some of the admirers the club has been steadily losing since the 1980s.
went 2-0 up before halftime on goals from Stephen Ireland
and Javier Garrido
. In the second half, Fernando Torres
scored twice as City was reduced to 10 men when Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta
took out Xabi Alonso
with a studs-up tackle. In the final 10 minutes, the game swung from end to end until Kuyt pounced on a deflected shot in the 92nd minute from four yards
out. "Maybe we should have had something to show for our efforts," mused a wistful City manager Mark Hughes
. "It was fantastic," enthused
his Liverpool counterpart Rafa Benitez
, just back from the party with three points in his goody bag.
Chelsea continued unbeaten after topping
outside title candidates Aston Villa 2-0 on goals from Joe Cole
and Nic Anelka
. "They played exceptionally well and we didn't," said Villa manager Martin O'Neill in a succinct summary.
Hull City continued its remarkable rise up
the table to third, winning 1-0 at last-placed Tottenham on an early goal from Geovanni
, his third of the season. Stranger still, Hull has a negative goal
difference. "The attitude of the players is very positive," insisted Tottenham manager Juande Ramos
, "but when you don't score goals it is
not easy to win." A point that few would dispute.
Newcastle United actually picked up a point, albeit at equally forlorn Everton as the two teams generously shared four goals and
kept themselves firmly in the bottom half of the table. American goalkeeper Tim Howard
conceded goals from Steven Taylor
and Damien Duff
as Newcastle came back from two goals down. Interim manager Joe Kinnear
pointed out that he still has
"a big job to do." Like Sir Alex Ferguson
, he also said he's not talking to the press any more. Perhaps his swear-box is too full.
Manchester United is easing its way up the standings, and it should only be a matter of weeks before we see the perennial Big Four clubs inevitably occupying the top four spots. Blackburn did create
chances against United at Ewood Park, and manager Paul Ince
delivered the inevitable "they are a better team, but we feel hard done by" speech in
complaining that when Wes Brown
scored the game's opener with his head, Nemanja Vidic
impeded Blackburn keeper Jason Brown
. A neat first-time Wayne Rooney
finish off a Cristiano Ronaldo
Arsenal struggled to break down a Sunderland side whose game plan seemed to keep all 11 players behind the ball for the entire 90 minutes. In the wind and the rain, it was
about as pretty to watch as a herd of buffalo performing Swan Lake on ice. Worse still, it almost worked, Sunderland chancing forward in the 86th minute to go one ahead through a long range effort
from Grant Leadbitter,
who looked as surprised as the rest of us felt. But in the final minute Cesc Fabregas
a corner to equalize as Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon
chose an inopportune moment to hug one of his defenders instead of going for the ball.
Javier Garrido's curling left-footed free kick that put Manchester City 2-0 up over Liverpool.