Liverpool beat Newcastle

London, September 21:

Dirk Kuyt scored a first-half goal and Xabi Alonso added another late in the second half to give Liverpool a 2-0 victory over Newcastle on Wednesday at Anfield. The victory improved Liverpool to seven points after five games. Portsmouth leads the Premier League with 13 points.

Kuyt scored his first goal for Liverpool, a close-range strike in the 29th. It was Liverpool’s first goal in four games. Alonso added the second in the 79th on a 70-yard shot that caught Newcastle keeper Steve Harper off his line. He was starting for injured Shay Given.

Three Premier League teams were knocked out in the second round of the League Cup. Chesterfield beat Man City 2-1, Wycombe eliminated Fulham 2-1 and Notts County defeated Middlesbrough 1-0. In another second-round game, Aston Villa defeated Scunthorpe 2-1.

Italian Serie A

ROME: Hernan Crespo scored a 44th-minute goal to give Inter Milan a 1-0 win over AS Roma in a match-up of the two Serie A title favourites.

The Argentina striker converted on a sharply angled shot from near the end line that deflected off the legs of Roma’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alexander Doni. Doni stopped a penalty kick by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 55th.

Meanwhile, five different players scored for Palermo in a 5-3 win over Catania. Palermo leads with nine points after three rounds. Messina, which beat Reggina 2-0 on two goals by Christian Rigano, and Inter share second with seven points. Roma and Siena, which won 3-1 at Torino, are next with six points apiece.

Also on Wednesday, Czech midfielder Marek Jankulovski scored as AC Milan beat Ascoli 1-0 for its third straight win in the league and sixth overall this season. Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo set up Jankulovski to head past Ascoli keeper Gianluca Pagliuca in the 68th. Milan has now erased its eight-point penalty from the Italian match-fixing scandal and has one point.

Atalanta and Empoli played to a 0-0 draw, giving both clubs five points. Empoli goalkeeper Daniele Balli blocked a penalty kick by Nicola Ventola in the 85th minute. Sampdoria rallied from a three-goal deficit to draw 3-3 with Udinese.

In another draw, Cagliari played Livorno to a 2-2 stalemate, with striker Tomas Danilevicius converting a penalty kick in the 61st to pull Livorno even. Danilevicius scored for Lithuania in a 1-1 draw with Italy earlier this month in a European Championship qualifier.

Lazio beat Chievo Verona 1-0 on Massimo Oddo’s 57th-minute penalty kick to leave it with minus-eight points. Romania forward Adrian Mutu converted off a Luca Toni cross in the 17th-minute of Fiorentina’s 1-0 win over Parma.

Fiorentina improved to minus-16 but lost Toni to a red card in added time for a flagrant elbow.