Oktoberfest Premier League Round-Up

England captain Gerrard put Liverpool ahead but United hit back to take the points. Photo wikimedia/The Big 4-0As millions of visitors descend on Munich for the world's most popular beer festival, Michael Mould makes sure football lovers get the latest from arguably the world's most popular football league.

Manchester United ran out 2-1 winners in an emotional game at Anfield that Liverpool dominated despite a combination of Jonjo Shelvey's dismissal and injury to Martin Kelly leaving the Merseysiders with just nine men at the final whistle.

In the first half Manchester United barely had a sight of goal, Liverpool asking all the questions as the ball was sent wide to the effervescent Raheem Sterling at every opportunity. Liverpool's momentum was disrupted in the 39th minute when Shelvey was shown a straight red card by referee Mark Halsey for a terrible tackle on Jonny Evans.

Despite being down to 10 men Liverpool went ahead just after the break as United failed to clear their lines, the ball dropping to Steven Gerrard in the box who smashed in an unstoppable volley with his left foot.

United equalised just five minutes later through Brazilian full back Rafael's brilliant curling effort. Robin van Persie then wrapped up the win from the penalty spot late on.

The win moves the Red Devils up to second place and three points clear of Premier League champions Manchester City who could only draw 1-1 at home to Arsenal. Laurent Koscielny rescued a point for the Gunners at the death following a first half header from a corner from City centre-half Joleon Lescott.

In other top-of-the-table action Chelsea maintained pole-position with a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge, Ashley Cole scoring the game's only goal in the 85th minute after typically fierce resistance from a Stoke side who had earlier hit the bar themselves with a header from Jon Walters.

Southampton defied their critics as they bounced back from a 6-1 thrashing against Arsenal in their previous match to fire four past Aston Villa at home and heap pressure on coach Paul Lambert.

England striker Darren Bent had scored to give the Villains a 1-0 half time lead but no-one could anticipate what was to come, an inspired performance from captain Rickie Lambert turning the match on its head with the striker scoring two and setting up another.

Villa could find no answer to Southampton's much improved second half display and looked to be lacking confidence with heads dropping after falling behind to a Nathaniel Clyne tap-in in the 63rd minute.

A Ciaran Clark own goal would follow before man of the match Lambert scored his second with a penalty deep into injury time.

Things couldn't look more different for Swansea City whose own incredible start to the season continued to fall away with a 3-0 defeat at home to Everton, the Toffees dominating as goals from Victor Anichebe and Kevin Mirallas put them in the driving seat going into half time.

Nathan Dyer was brought on at half time by Michael Laudrup in an attempt to get Swansea back into the game but the move back-fired spectacularly when the winger was shown red after receiving a second yellow for a clumsy tackle on Everton's Leighton Baines.

Taking anything from the game at this point was always a tough ask with Marouane Fellaini wrapping the game up for Everton eight minutes from time with a header.

On-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game for West Bromwich Albion at home to make it one point from four games for newly-promoted Reading.

The win marks the first time in 58 years that West Brom have won three of their first four opening games and Steve Clarke's side deserved it even if they did have to wait until the 76th minute for the goal, Shane Long combining well with Lukaku for the decisive goal.

Another side looking at a top-half finish this season are Martin Jol's Fulham. New striker Dimitar Berbatov grabbed the headlines for the London side last week by scoring two goals on his debut against West Brom, this time it was Hugo Rodallega scoring his first goal for the club in a 2-1 away win over Wigan Athletic.

Typically Berbatov had a hand in the goal, the former Manchester United player deftly picking out Rodallega who scored with a bullet header in the 31st minute. Damien Duff added another in the second half with a shot into the corner following good work from Bryan Ruiz. Arouna Kone scored an injury time consolation for the hosts.

Andre Villas-Boas made it two consecutive wins as Jermain Defoe's sixth goal of the season won it for Tottenham Hotspur against a spirited Queens Park Rangers.

It was hard-fought game for Spurs against a QPR side who took the lead in the first half with a goal from Bobby Zamora before the second half saw two goals in two minutes put paid to any hopes they had of a result, one an own goal from Alejandro Faulin and the other a tap-in for Defoe.

Fellow London side West Ham had to make do with salvaging a draw despite having the better of the play against an unbeaten Sunderland side. Manager Martin O'Neil's team took the lead in the first half through in-form Steven Fletcher, the new signing scoring his fourth goal in three league matches for the Black Cats before Kevin Nolan prodded home late-on to give the Hammers a share of the spoils.

North East rivals Newcastle United won their game at home against Norwich, Demba Ba scoring after twenty minutes with the Canaries unable to reply in a match that also saw Papiss Cisse miss a penalty.


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