Mon, Dec 15, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Gerrard saves Reds from Tigers

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard rescued his side after they went 2-0 behind with two first-half goals as the Reds dropped points at home again

AFP , LONDON

Middlesbrough’s Didier Digard, top, battles for the ball with Arsenal’s Abou Diaby during their English Premier League match at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, England, on Saturday.

PHOTO: AP

Steven Gerrard performed yet another rescue act for Liverpool by twice scoring for the Premier League leaders as they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against surprise package Hull City at Anfield on Saturday.

“If we want to stay top we have to take three points from these kinds of games,” Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez told Sky Sports.

Hull, who’ve already won away to Arsenal, Newcastle and Tottenham in their first top-flight season, stunned Liverpool when Paul McShane headed the Tigers into a 12th minute lead at Anfield.

And they were 2-0 in front thanks to an own-goal from Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

However, barely two minutes later, Reds captain Gerrard scored from close range following a pass from Albert Riera.

England midfielder Gerrard, as he’s so often done before, continued to drag Liverpool back into the game with his second goal in the 32nd minute after Dirk Kuyt’s cross fell into his path.

“We are really disappointed because these are the kinds of games we have to win,” Benitez said. “We started the game really well, but then we conceded two goals with two big mistakes.”

Manchester United, in the reigning champions’ last match before heading to Japan for the Club World Cup, remained six points behind Liverpool after a goalless draw away to Tottenham Hotspur in the day’s late kick-off.

But it needed a superb, last minute, save from Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes to deny United all three points after he tipped a curling Ryan Giggs free-kick onto the crossbar.

Arsenal lost ground with a 1-1 draw away to Middlesbrough — a result that left the Gunners eight points off top spot.

Former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere secured a point for Boro after Emmanuel Adebayor had given the Gunners the lead.

However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “We believe that champions are people who go on when everybody else stops. Nobody believes in us, but we can show we still believe and keep going.”

Aston Villa leapfrogged Arsenal into fourth place by coming from behind to beat Bolton Wanderers 4-2.

Villa were a goal behind against Bolton when Johan Elmander scored in the 17th minute. But Martin O’Neill’s men equalized eight minutes later when Gabriel Agbonlahor shot home.

Villa went ahead when Kevin Davies put Gareth Barry’s cross through his own net five minutes before halftime under pressure from Martin Laursen.

The Villa Park faithful celebrated a third goal in the 67th minute when Agbonlahor scored his second after turning in Ashley Young’s cross.

Roles were reversed 12 minutes from time as Young scored, before Davies pulled a goal back for Bolton.

Under-pressure Blackburn Rovers manager Paul Ince saw the second-bottom side lose their sixth straight league match in a 3-0 defeat away to Wigan Athletic.

Wigan, managed by Ince’s former Manchester United teammate Steve Bruce, were 2-0 up in 12 minutes as Blackburn’s porous defense again leaked goals.

England striker Emile Heskey opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a neat finish from Antonio Valencia’s cross. And two minutes later it was 2-0.

Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson’s clearance went straight to Mario Melchiot, who headed the ball into Valencia’s path and the unchallenged Ecuadorian struck a powerful shot into the bottom right corner. Lee Cattermole wrapped up the points in the 77th minute.

“To concede two goals in about 10 minutes, you don’t give yourselves a chance,” Ince said. “We’ve brought a lot of supporters here and we’ve let them down.”

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