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Rediff.com  » Sports » Images: Liverpool, Man U held as Chelsea Arsenal march on

Images: Liverpool, Man U held as Chelsea Arsenal march on

Last updated on: September 13, 2010 15:56 IST

Reina stood out on a forgettable day for the Reds

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Pepe Reina produced three excellent saves to help lethargic Liverpool earn a point from a goalless and somewhat predictable Premier League draw at Birmingham City on Sunday.

Reina, whose horrible blunder gifted Argentina a goal in Spain's 4-1 midweek friendly defeat, produced a man-of-the-match performance in an otherwise forgettable display by Liverpool, who have won only one of their opening four league games.

Birmingham, unbeaten at home in the league for almost year and with two draws and a win to from their opening three games, were the more adventurous side throughout, buoyed by their good recent record against Liverpool.

The teams' previous six league meetings had been draws and though Liverpool chalked up a 7-0 FA Cup win at St Andrews in 2006 their last league victory over Birmingham came six years ago.


Image: Pepe Reina

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Torres was off the pace

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Reina made his first fine save after 25 minutes, diving low to keep out a Cameron Jerome header.

He reacted quickly to deny the same striker and produced a third terrific reaction stop to keep out Craig Gardner's point-blank header late in the first half.

Birmingham missed another good chance early in the second half when woeful marking left Scott Dann free but his header bounced just over the bar.

Liverpool, with striker Fernando Torres looking badly off the pace, were slightly better in the second period but still barely fashioned a decent chance and already lag seven points behind leaders Chelsea.

Image: Birmingham City's Roger Johnson (right) challenges Liverpool's Fernando Torres

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Essien brace propels Chelsea to top of the table

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Chelsea made it four wins out of four and left West Ham United rooted to the bottom of the Premier League with four defeats as the champions strolled to a 3-1 victory at their London rivals on Saturday.

Two goals for Michael Essien and a fortunate one for Salomon Kalou left Chelsea three points better off than Manchester United.

United were held to a 3-3 draw at Goodison Park after Everton scored twice in stoppage time in a match Wayne Rooney missed to avoid any crowd abuse at his former club.

Arsenal took full advantage of a red card for Bolton Wanderers defender Gary Cahill with a 4-1 home win while Moussa Dembele's second goal of the game, in the last minute, gave Fulham a 2-1 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Image: Chelsea's Michael Essien celebrates after scoring

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Everton snatched surprise draw against Man U

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Promoted Blackpool continued their impressive start to the season with a 2-0 win at Newcastle United while Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City continued to stutter as they could only draw with Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion respectively.

Everton scored twice in stoppage time to snatch an unlikely 3-3 home Premier League draw with Manchester United on Saturday.

United manager Alex Ferguson said he had left out his top striker so he would not be subjected to abuse from supporters of his former club following newspaper allegations about his private life.

It looked to be a fair decision as United cruised towards a 3-1 win after goals by Darren Fletcher, Nemanja Vidic and Dimitar Berbatov had more than cancelled out Steven Pienaar's opener.


Image: Everton's Steven Pienaar (right) celebrates with a teammate after scoring

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'It just shows the fight'

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However, in a breathless finale, Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta both scored in injury time and Everton looked set for a possible shock winner when the referee controversially blew for full time hile they were in full flight.

"It's quite unreal but (with) the chances we missed it was probably a fair result," Cahill told Sky Sports.

"It just shows the fight... we've tried and tried in the last couple of games, it hasn't happened, and today it's a great result."

Everton took the lead on the break in the 39th minute after Tim Howard had done well to block a Ryan Giggs effort seconds earlier.

The lead lasted four minutes as Nani crossed for Fletcher to tuck in the equaliser with a neat volley.

Another Nani cross found an unmarked Vidic to head United into the lead two minutes into the second half while they seemed to have settled the game with a superb third after 66 minutes.


Image: Everton's Tim Cahill (right) and Manchester United's Nani vie for possession

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'We've played good football, but it was all wasted'

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Paul Scholes picked out Berbatov with a long ball and the Bulgarian striker calmly stroked a low, 18-metre shot beyond Howard with the outside of his boot.

United missed two good chances for a fourth and paid a heavy price as Everton pulled one back when Cahill rose to head in a Leighton Baines cross in the first minute of added time.

Roared on by the home fans, they poured forward and when Cahill again got his head to a Baines cross, Arteta kept his nerve to drive in the equaliser from just inside the box.

"We were in a completely comfortable position but we've thrown it away," said Ferguson. "We've played some good football, Berbatov was absolutely brilliant, but it was all wasted."

Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier returns to the Premier League on Monday when he takes charge of Aston Villa for the first time, away to Stoke City.


Image: Dimitar Berbatov celebrates after scoring against Everton

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