Tue, Dec 23, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Ten-man Gunners hold the Reds

STALEMATE Robbie Keane returned to the Liverpool starting line-up and scored the equalizer after Robin van Persie had fired the Gunners ahead at the Emirates Stadium

AP , LONDON

Liverpool were held 1-1 by 10-man Arsenal and wasted a chance to strengthen their hold on the top of the Premier League on Sunday, while Manchester City’s slump continued with a 2-1 defeat at last-place West Bromwich Albion.

Robbie Keane equalized for Liverpool, although the Reds failed to take advantage after Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor was sent off with 27 minutes to go at the Emirates Stadium.

Robin van Persie fired Arsenal ahead in the 24th minute when he collected the ball on his chest, turned past two defenders and scored with a powerful shot.

But Keane, who returned to Liverpool’s team after some poor performances, replied in the 42nd minute when he ran on to meet a long through ball by Daniel Agger, outpaced the Arsenal defenders and drove the ball into the roof of the net.

Adebayor was sent off for his second yellow card in the 63rd minute and that upset Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

“I believe that, staying with 11 men, we would have won the game,” he said. “I think it was the wrong decision. I would love to have sendings off like that at home when we get kicked off the park. I believe that, if Adebayor has to go off, then Keane has to go off in the first minute [for a foul on Gael Clichy].”

Liverpool, who had Sammy Lee in charge because Rafa Benitez was absent while he recovers from surgery to remove kidney stones, created few chances and wound up with 39 points from 18 games. That means Chelsea, who have 37 points from 17 games, can take over the league lead by winning at Everton.

West Bromwich Albion’s Roman Bednar headed the winner in the third minute of injury time to ensure Manchester City dropped into the relegation zone.

Luke Moore’s first goal for West Brom earned the Baggies a 69th-minute lead at the Hawthorns, but City substitute Felipe Caicedo replied in the 86th minute with a deflected back-heel that hit the inside of the post and went in off goalkeeper Scott Carson.

The game appeared headed for a draw neither side really wanted when Bednar was left unchallenged to head home a right-wing cross from Gianni Zuiverloon.

It was West Brom’s first victory in 10 games, but Tony Mowbray’s team remain last with 15 points, one fewer than Blackburn.

City, the Premier League’s richest club after a buyout by an investment company from Abu Dhabi, have had one victory in nine matches to slide to 18th place with 18 points.

City manager Mark Hughes, who took over in June but now is the bookmakers’ favorite to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job, said he expected to be given funds to strengthen the squad in next month’s transfer window.

“I’m sure that once we get the quality into the side that we need, then the performances and the progress we want to make will start to happen,” said Hughes, who was unable to field Robinho because of injury and left out his Brazilian countrymen Elano and Jo. “We get compromised somewhat with absentee players so, until we get a stronger squad, then it’s going to be difficult in the short term.”

Damien Duff scored a late winner in Newcastle United’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur to move up three places to 12th after six games without a defeat.

Charles N’Zogbia gave the Magpies a 12th-minute lead, but Luka Modric leveled in the 29th minute. Only minutes after entering the game, Duff swapped passes with Mark Viduka to score Newcastle’s winner.

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