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Spurs hand Liverpool first defeat

Last updated on: November 02, 2008 09:22 IST

Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday when Roman Pavlyuchenko scored in injury time to give Tottenham Hotspur a 2-1 comeback win to complete a dream first week for new manager Harry Redknapp.

Chelsea took over at the top of the Premier League after Nicolas Anelka's hat-trick inspired a 5-0 rout of Sunderland. In a thriller, Hull City came from 4-1 down to push Manchester United all the way before losing 4-3 at Old Trafford.

Arsenal went down 2-1 at Stoke City, a red card for Robin van Persie and a bad injury to Theo Walcott completing their miserable day.

Chelsea have 26 points, the same as Liverpool, but lead on goal difference. United are third on 21, with Arsenal, Aston Villa and Hull all on 20. Spurs climb off the bottom after a memorable week.

Liverpool seemed to be cruising after an early goal by Dirk Kuyt but a Jamie Carragher own goal in the 69th minute opened the door and Spurs, who fought back to draw 4-4 at Arsenal on Wednesday after beating Bolton Wanderers last week, seized their chance.

Last weekend Spurs sacked manager Juande Ramos, instantly brought in Redknapp from Portsmouth and then secured their first win of the season.

On Wednesday they netted twice in the last five minutes to draw at Arsenal and the next day announced plans for a new 60,000-seater stadium.

On Saturday they dumped Liverpool with another last-gasp goal, having seen local rivals Arsenal lose at Stoke.

Liverpool will wonder how they lost, having totally dominated and hitting the woodwork three times.


Pavlyuchenko snatched the unlikely winner after David Bentley's shot was parried by Pepe Reina.

"I can't believe we lost, everybody could see we were the better team," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez told Setanta Sports television. "We were controlling everything."

Redknapp said: "We rode our luck at times for sure but once we got a goal back we were back in it."

Asked what he had done to change things in such a short time, he said: "I just got among the lads and made them believe in themselves a bit. We've had a great week."

Arsenal, stunned at home by Hull a month ago, became the latest team to fall foul of Rory Delap's long throw-ins.

Ricardo Fuller outjumped everyone to head one in before Seyi Olofinjana got the second after another Delap missile left Arsenal's defence flailing.

Arsenal then lost Van Persie, five minutes after he came on as a substitute. Walcott was carried off on a stretcher clutching his shoulder and striker Emmanuel Adebayor also went off injured.

Gael Clichy's late effort was no consolation for manager Arsene Wenger.

Two goals for Cristiano Ronaldo and one each by Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic had United seemingly cruising after an hour.

But Hull, who netted earlier through Daniel Cousin, pulled one back through Bernard Mendy and set up a tense last eight minutes with a Geovanni penalty.

"Not many teams will come to Old Trafford, score three goals and come away with nothing," said Hull manager Phil Brown.

Chelsea were on song from the start at Stamford Bridge with Alex and Frank Lampard also on target in a dominant display.

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