England round-up: Liverpool defeat lets Arsenal close gap

Liverpool FC suffered their first league defeat, while Arsenal FC won to close the gap at the top.

Liverpool FC’s lead at the top of the English Premiership was cut to just one point as they lost 1-0 at Middlesbrough FC, while Arsenal FC won to close the gap and Manchester United FC suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of neighbours Manchester City FC.

Liverpool succumb to late goal
Liverpool’s defeat, their first of the season in the league, was sealed when England defender Gareth Southgate scrambled a loose ball in after Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek had dropped a cross under pressure with seven minutes remaining.

Arsenal back on track
Second-placed Arsenal seem to have recovered from their recent run of defeats, and Sylvain Wiltord’s goal was enough to defeat fellow UEFA Champions League contenders Newcastle United FC 1-0 at Highbury.

City take local pride
Elsewhere, the last Manchester derby at Maine Road finished in favour of City, who will be moving to a new stadium at the end of this season. The hosts took the lead in the fifth minute, as Nicolas Anelka pounced on the rebound after Fabien Barthez had parried Shaun Goater’s shot.

Two for Goater
United equalised just three minutes later when Ole Gunnar Solksjær shot into the net from ten metres out, but Goater capitalised on a slip by United’s Gary Neville to put City back in front in the 26th minute, and made the game safe with his second six minutes after half-time, following a perceptive through-ball by Eyal Berkovic.

Keegan jubilant
City manager Kevin Keegan was delighted with his side’s win. “This was my greatest derby, it's the one I will remember," he said. "It was also the last one at Maine Road, so it was special for the fans. The noise they created was fantastic - they were our 12th man and it reminded me of the atmospheres you used to get in the 1970s.”

Chelsea go third
Chelsea FC move up to third place thanks to a 3-0 win over Birmingham City FC at Stamford Bridge, secured by two goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen and one from Gianfranco Zola. Everton FC also go above Manchester United, moving into fourth after Tomasz Radzinski’s goal gave them a 1-0 win against Charlton Athletic FC.

Cole earns draw
Blackburn Rovers FC secured a draw at Southampton FC thanks to a last-gasp goal from Andy Cole. James Beattie had given the home side the lead, while Blackburn had Turkish midfield player Tugay Kerimoglu sent off for two bookable offences.

Valuable Villa victory
Aston Villa FC secured a valuable home win against UEFA Cup participants Fulham FC, winning 3-1. Juan Pablo Angel gave the home side the lead only for Luis Boa Morte to equalise, but further goals from Marcus Allbäck and Oyvind Leonhardsen secured victory for Graham Taylor’s team.

Bolton snatch draw
The other game in the Premiership saw Bolton Wanderers FC earn a point at home to fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion FC, Per Frandsen’s late goal cancelling out Scott Dobie’s opener for the visitors. Bolton’s French defender Bruno N’Gotty was earlier sent off.