- Associated Press - Sunday, March 6, 2011

LONDON (AP) - English Premier League leader Manchester United stumbled to a second straight defeat by losing 3-1 at fierce rival Liverpool on Sunday, and fifth-place Tottenham conceded a late goal to draw 3-3 at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt scored twice in the first half and again in the 65th to complete his first hat trick for Liverpool, ensuring United wasn’t able to capitalize on second-place Arsenal’s draw against Sunderland on Saturday.

United, which grabbed a late consolation through Javier Hernandez, remained three points above Arsenal and has played one game more. Manchester City, which beat Wigan 1-0 Saturday, is four points further back in third.

United, whose defense looked creaky at Anfield without center backs Nemanja Vidic (suspended) and Rio Ferdinand (injured), has lost three of its last five matches to keep the title race wide open.

Manager Alex Ferguson, facing a charge of improper conduct after his criticism of a referee following the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday, refused to speak to the media after the game but Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was more than happy to.

“We know it’s a good victory for us,” said Dalglish, whose side moved above Bolton into sixth, six points behind Chelsea and Tottenham but having played more games.

“We know Manchester United are a great benchmark, but our season is not finished. We want to keep going.”

Steven Fletcher’s late header earned Wolves a deserved draw after England striker Jermain Defoe scored twice for Spurs, his first goals of the season. Tottenham drew level on points with fourth-place Chelsea, which visits Blackpool on Monday.

Ryan Giggs played his team record 607th league game for United, one more than Bobby Charlton from 1956-73.


ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ Freddy Adu scored his first goal for Rizespor in the Turkish second division, connecting in the 32md minute for a 1-0 victory over Gaziantep.

The 21-year-old American, who joined the club at the end of the January transfer window, scored on a 22-yard, left-footed shot.


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) _ Karim Benzema scored twice and Emmanuel Adebayor once as Real Madrid won 3-1 at Racing Santander and closed within seven points of Spanish league leader Barcelona.

With leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo sidelined by a leg injury, Madrid turned to Mesut Oezil to direct the offense and started Benzema and Adebayor together. Oezil set up goals by Adebayor in the 23rd and Benzema in the 27th. Kennedy Bakircioglu scored for Racing in the 70th.

After Racing’s Giovani Dos Santos was pulled down by Xabi Alonso in the 53rd, Iker Casillas blocked Pablo Pinillos’ poor penalty kick. Racing goalkeeper Tono Rodriguez saved Adebayor’s penalty kick in the 85th after Marc Torrejon fouled Angel Di Maria.

Sporting Gijon moved out of the relegation zone, beating Getafe 2-0 on goals by Miguel de las Cuevas and Andres Castro. Felipe Caicedo gave Levante a 1-0 win over Espanyol, Almeria came from behind to beat Hercules 2-1, and Osasuna downed Malaga 1-0 on a goal by Sergio Fernandez in injury time for his team’s first road win in 13 months.


MILAN (AP) _ Inter Milan needed a second-half comeback to overturn a one-goal deficit and beat Genoa 5-2.

Genoa opened the scoring in the first half through Rodrigo Palacio, but the strike sparked a fierce response by Inter after halftime.

Giampaolo Pazzini drew Inter level and Samuel Eto’o put Inter out of sight with a well-taken brace. Goran Pandev wrapped up the win with a fourth before Yuto Nagatomo scored his first goal since joining Inter in January.

Mauro Boselli scored a late second for Genoa.

“We started a bit timidly and lacked rhythm,” Pazzini said. “Things were said in the changing room and we came out and won the match in 15 minutes.”

The result means Inter keeps up the pressure on Serie A leader and cross-city rival AC Milan, which it trails by five points.

Napoli remains third but slipped further back when it drew 0-0 at home to Brescia and is now eight points behind Milan.

Also Sunday, it was: Bologna 2, Cagliari 2; Chievo Verona 0, Parma 0; Udinese 1, Bari 0; and Sampdoria 3, Cesena 2; and Lazio 2, Palermo 0.


BERLIN (AP) _ Andre Schuerrle scored twice and set up another goal to lead Mainz to a come-from-behind 4-2 win at Hamburg that takes his side into fourth place in the Bundesliga.

Schuerrle equalized in the 56th minute and gave his side the lead in the 81st before and setting up Florian Heller in the 88th.

Marcell Jansen opened the scoring for Hamburg in controversial fashion, his volley crashing off the crossbar in front of the line in the 17th. Despite Mainz protests, referee Babak Rafati allowed the goal to stand.

Schuerrle equalized after getting ahead of Dennis Aogo to head past goalkeeper Frank Rost, but Malden Petric reclaimed the lead for Hamburg three minutes later.

Mainz rises to fourth, one point ahead of Bayern Munich with nine rounds left to play. Hamburg remains seventh.

In the other game, Werder Bremen substitute Marko Marin scored one goal and set up another in a 3-1 win at Freiburg that took his team out of the relegation zone.


PARIS (AP) _ Lille maintained its French league lead, defeating Marseille 2-1 on goals by Eden Hazard and substitute Pierre-Alain Frau.

Hazard put the visitors ahead in the ninth minute with a 35-yard shot clocked at 59 mph, and Frau beat defender Gabriel Heinze to the ball to flick home a cross from Emerson in the first minute of injury time.

Loic Remy had tied the score in the 60th.

Lille leads on goal difference over Rennes, with both teams at 49 points. Marseille is fourth, four points back.

Lisandro Lopez scored a hat trick as Lyon routed Arles-Avignon 5-0, and Bordeaux beat Brest 3-1 to climb to seventh.


GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) _ On-loan Arsenal defender Kyle Bartley scored Rangers’ winner in the 1-0 victory at St. Mirren, cutting Scottish Premier League leader Celtic’s cushion to five points.

Bartley met a cross by Madjid Bougherra to head home in the 24th minute for his first goal since moving to the Scottish champions on transfer deadline day on Jan. 31.

Rangers has two games in hand over Glasgow rival Celtic, which beat Hamilton 2-0 on Saturday.

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