Man U beat Liverpool, take Premiership lead

London, October 22:

Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand fired Manchester United back to the top of the Premier League in a 2-0 victory over Liverpool on Sunday.

Scholes marked his 500th appearance for United with a goal in the 39th minute and Ferdinand added the second in the 66th as Alex Ferguson’s team climbed above defending champion Chelsea in the standings.

Both teams have 22 points but United has a superior goal difference of 19-5 to Chelsea’s 15-5. The Blues had moved top by edging Portsmouth 2-1 on Saturday.

The loss left Liverpool in 11th place — 11 points behind the leaders. Liverpool should have gone ahead after 30 minutes before a record Premier League crowd of 75,808 at Old Trafford when Dirk Kuyt met a leftwing cross from Mark Gonzalez. But he headed straight at goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar from six yards.

Nine minutes later, United went ahead when a low cross from Ryan Giggs found Scholes totally unmarked in front of goal. Although Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina raced off his line to block his first shot, the midfielder followed up to beat Sami Hyypia to the rebound and force the ball over the line.

It was almost 2-0 two minutes later but Reina fingertipped a 25-yard shot from Louis Saha round the post after a great run and pass from Giggs had set up the opening. Giggs also created the second in the 66th with another cross which was half cleared by Jamie Carragher. Ferdinand pulled the ball onto his left foot and fired into the top corner.

On Saturday, it was: Wigan 4, Manchester City 0; Charlton 0, Watford 0; Everton 2, Sheffield United 0; Aston Villa 1, Fulham 1.

Spanish La Liga

MADRID: Deportivo Coruna moved up to second position in the Spanish La Liga, with a hard-fought 1-0 win over luckless Atletico Madrid.

Deportivo won due to a late goal from Angel Arizmendi — and thanks to some superb saves by keeper Dudu Aouate. Atletico had the better chances but were foiled by Aouate. The only goal came 20 minutes from time, when Arizmendi — rejected by Atletico two years ago — took full revenge by heading in a clever free-kick.

The tight win gave Deportivo 14 points from seven games, two less than leaders Barcelona. In the fifth place, on 12 points, are Sevilla. Real Madrid are sixth with 11. Zaragoza moved up to fourth, just below Valencia on goal difference, with a 2-1 win over struggling Betis.

Two early goals from Diego Milito were enough for Zaragoza. The Argentine striker is now top of the scorers’ chart with seven. Brazilian forward Robert pulled back a late goal for Betis. The latest defeat leaves Betis third from bottom with just four points.

Saturday’s other match was a 1-1 draw between Villarreal and Levante, leaving both in mid-table. Diego Camacho gave Levante the lead on the hour, only for youngster Jonathan to quickly level for Villarreal. — DPA