- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (AP) - Liverpool routed Premier League leader Manchester United 4-1 on Saturday, coming from behind to revive its faltering title chase with its biggest win at Old Trafford in 73 years.

Captain Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool the lead for good just before halftime after Fernando Torres tied the score following Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty kick for United.

“It was magnificent, a great team performance,” Gerrard said.

The Reds’ first win at United in five years _ and manager Rafa Benitez’s first _ was put beyond doubt in the last 15 minutes, with goals by Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena as the defending champions were humiliated by their fiercest rival.

This was United’s worst home defeat since a loss by the same score in 1992 against Queens Park Rangers. The club’s miserable afternoon was compounded when defender Nemanja Vidic was ejected for the second time this season against Liverpool.

United is still four points ahead of Liverpool with a game in hand. Third-place Chelsea hosts Manchester City on Sunday, hoping to move within four of the leader.

Arsenal jumped into fourth place with a 4-0 victory over Blackburn, with Andrei Arshavin scoring his first goal for the club since he move from Zenit St. Petersburg. The Russian also had a second-minute shot deflect off Blackburn defender Andre Oijer for an own-goal. When his shot in the 87th was blocked by goalkeeper Paul Robinson, Emmanuel Eboue collected the ball to add the third goal.

In other games, sixth-place Everton beat Stoke 3-1; Fulham won 3-1 at Bolton; and Hull and Newcastle tied 1-1. Next-to-last Middlesbrough scored a last minute equalizer to tie Portsmouth 1-1, and Wigan won 2-1 at Sunderland.


FRANKFURT (AP) _ Hertha Berlin held its four-point lead in the Bundesliga by beating Bayer Leverkusen 1-0, with Andriy Voronin scoring his eighth goal in six games.

That gave him a total of 11 for the season and his team 49 points in the quest to win its first German championship in 78 years.

Defending champion Bayern Munich won 3-0 at 10-man Bochum to move into second place with 45 points. Wolfsburg, which beat Schalke 4-3 on Friday for its sixth straight victory, also has 45 but is behind on goal difference.

Hoffenheim, the surprise leader at halfway through its first season in the top tier, remained without a win in its six last games after a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt. It is in fourth place with 43 points. Hamburger SV, which plays Energie Cottbus on Sunday, can join Bayern and Wolfsburg on points.


GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) _ Steven Fletcher lifted Hibernian to a 1-0 victory over neighbor Hearts in the Scottish Premier League. Both teams played the second half with 10 men after two red cards in first-half injury time.

Fletcher headed home a cross by Alan O’Brien in the 14th minute.

Seven minutes of injury time were played at the end of the first half, and Hearts goalkeeper Janos Balogh was sent off for racing out of his area and bringing down Fletcher. Then, Souleymane Bamba of Hibernian was sent off for a foul on Christian Nade.

The biggest game of the weekend is Sunday’s League Cup final at Hampden Park between Celtic and Rangers, the top two in the league. Celtic leads Rangers by three points in the league.

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