Liverpool ended their worst run of results since 1987 with a deserved 2–0 win at home over the current Premier League champion Manchester United on Sunday.
The win will take the pressure off of the Reds and notably their beleaguered boss Rafael Benitez.
Fernando Torres put the home side ahead when he shrugged off Rio Ferdinand before blasting past Edwin van der Sar just after the hour mark.
Nemanja Vidic continued his terrible record by being sent off for a third successive time against Liverpool. But Javier Mascherano made things even by following him down to the dressing room after getting a second yellow card for a late challenge on van der Sar.
In injury time, substitute David Ngog sprinted onto a ball from Lucas Leiva and scored to seal the points for Liverpool, concluding a fiercely competitive match. The Anfield loyal were ecstatic.
Michael Owen came on as a late substitute to face the club with which he had won silverware and made a name for himself. The Liverpool fans made their disdain clear—such is the rivalry between the two clubs.
Owen was in the heat of the action when he was brought down with a hefty challenge from Jamie Carragher, which warranted a yellow card. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson indicated it should have been a sending off after the match.
“If it is outside of the box, it is a free kick and maybe a yellow card," he told the BBC. “But it was inside the box and the referee was only six yards from it. It was another bad decision.”
Chelsea 5, Blackburn 0
An impressive display from Chelsea on Saturday put them back on the top of the table with Joe Cole returning in top form for his first Premier League start after eight months on the sidelines.
Gael Givet’s own goal put the home side ahead after Nicolas Anelka’s low cross entered the six-yard box. Frank Lampard then made it two from short range just after half time.
Michael Essien blasted in from long range before Lampard slotted his second from the penalty spot on the hour mark after Ryan Nelsen tripped Didier Drogba.
Drogba then closed the game out by towering above Nelson to get on the end of a Lampard cross. And that made it five for the Blues.
Chelsea are now two points clear at the top of the table with Man United second.
West Ham 2, Arsenal 2
A late comeback at Upton Park saw West Ham claw back to a draw with substitute Alessandro Diamanti changing the flow of play.
Robin van Persie put the Gunners ahead after West Ham keeper Rob Green failed to clear a cross, gifting a tap in for the Dutch forward. William Gallas scored Arsenal’s second off a corner kick in the 37th minute.
West Ham kept their heads up and got back into the game when Carlton Cole headed in a rebound when keeper Vito Mannone could not keep hold of a Diamanti shot.
Diamanti equalized for West Ham from the penalty spot in the 80th minute.
Arsenal now nudge in front of Tottenham in the table, but will be disappointed in their failure to not take three points in a match they controlled for the most part. The Gunners face their archrival Spurs next Saturday at the Emirates.
Manchester City 2, Fulham 2
Fulham came back from a two-goal deficit to stun the Manchester City home crowd. The draw marked an end to City’s perfect home record.
City took the lead after a scramble on the goal line with defender Joleon Lescott tapping in.
Soon after that, Bulgarian midfielder Martin Petrov linked up with Gareth Barry to curl in a shot for the two-goal cushion.
But Damian Duff drove one in for Fulham shortly thereafter and American Clint Dempsey headed in from a set piece to equalize and snatch a point for Fulham.
All four goals were scored in a 14-minute span around the hour mark.
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson told the BBC, “We have players injured at the moment, so it was a sterling effort for the players to earn a point.”