Blackburn beat Man United

London, February 2:

David Bentley scored three goals and Blackburn edged Manchester United 4-3, while runaway English league leader Chelsea was held 1-1 by Aston Villa.

Among other unexpected results, Arsenal lost 3-2 at home to West Ham and Liverpool was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Birmingham, which played most of the game with 10 men.

The results increased Chelsea’s lead to 15 points as the two leading pursuers failed to capitalise on the Blues’ second straight draw. Arjen Robben gave Chelsea the ideal start with a goal after 14 minutes. Luke Moore equalised for Villa in the 77th minute.

Bentley scored three times and Lucas Neill converted a penalty as Blackburn raced into a 4-1 lead over United before Ruud van Nistelrooy came off the bench to rally the Reds with two of his own.

In other games, Robbie Fowler returned to Anfield as a second-half substitute immediately after Steven Gerrard had given Liverpool a 62nd-minute lead over Birmingham.

Birmingham rallied with two minutes remaining when Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso deflected a header by Emile Heskey toward his own net.

West Ham posted its first victory at Arsenal in 11 years with strikes by Nigel Reo-Coker, Bobby Zamora and Matthew Etherington.

The Hammers led by two goals before Thierry Henry replied for the Gunners to eclipse Cliff Bastin’s record of 150 league goals, and were ahead 3-1 before Robert Pires scored a late second.

In other games, Manchester City neat Newcastle 3-0 and Portsmouth drew 1-1 with Bolton.

Italian Cup

ROME: AS Roma eliminated Juventus from the Italian Cup despite a 1-0 loss. Roma advanced on away goals thanks to its 3-2 win last week. In the semis, Roma will face Palermo, which ousted AC Milan on Tuesday. Udinese advanced on away goals, drawing 2-2 with Sampdoria. The two drew 1-1 in the first leg. Udinese will play either Lazio or Inter Milan.

Adrian Mutu converted a penalty kick for Juventus in the 48th minute after Simone Perrotta was called for a hand ball.

Copa del Rey

BARCELONA: Zaragoza lost 2-1 to a 10-man FC Barcelona but still reached the Copa del Rey semi-finals. Barcelona lost 4-2 in last week’s first-leg quarter-final and went out of Spain’s knockout competition 5-4 on aggregate. Barcelona has won a record 24 Copa del Rey championships.

In semis, Zaragoza

will meet Real Madrid on February 8 and 15 in a repeat of the 2004 final. Deportivo La Coruna plays Espanyol on February 8, with the second leg still to be arranged.

Ronaldinho was ejected in the 38th minute for stamping on Ruben “Cani” Gracia. Lionel Messi gave Barcelona a lead with Zaragoza’s Oscar Gonzalez scoring a vital equaliser. Henrik Larsson struck Barcelona’s second goal in injury time.

Deportivo completed its abandoned second-leg game with a 1-1 draw against Valencia.

Deportivo midfielder Victor Sanchez’s 70th-minute penalty levelled with the goal Valencia striker David Villa scored a week ago, earning Deportivo a 2-1 aggregate victory.