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England round-up: Owen puts Liverpool in command

Two goals from Liverpool FC's Michael Owen gave his side a 2-0 win and a seven-point lead in the table

In-form England striker Michael Owen struck twice on Saturday to give Liverpool FC a 2-0 victory against West Ham United FC at Anfield, a result that gives Gérard Houllier’s side a seven-point lead at the top of the English Premiership.

Owen’s goals
Owen beat his former team-mate David James twice, as he skipped through two tackles before clipping the ball past the England goalkeeper in the 28th minute. Ten minutes after half-time it was 2-0, as Owen slid the ball past James to guarantee his side all three points. The win took Liverpool to 30 points, seven ahead of champions Arsenal FC, who visit Fulham FC tomorrow.

Forlán finds form
At Old Trafford, Uruguayan striker Diego Forlán earned Manchester United FC all three points, as his 85th-minute shot from 25 metres finally saw off Southampton FC and secured his side a 2-1 win. Earlier, the visitors’ Fabrice Fernandes had cancelled out Phil Neville’s opening goal. United now move into third place in the table.

Important victory
In today's other games, Birmingham City FC secured a vital home win, defeating bottom side Bolton Wanderers FC 3-1. Goals from Darren Purse, Robbie Savage and Geoff Horsfield saw off the visitors, whose goal came from Nigerian international Augustine Okocha after Ricardo Gardner had been dismissed. 

Morale-boosting win
Elsewhere, ahead of next weekend’s Manchester derby, Manchester City FC won 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion FC, goals from Nicolas Anelka and Shaun Goater giving Kevin Keegan’s side the three points.