London, Dec 22: Liverpool was held 1-1 by 10-man Arsenal and wasted a chance to strengthen its hold on the top of the Premier League, while Manchester City's slump continued with a 2-1 defeat at last-place West Bromwich Albion.
Robbie Keane on Sunday, Dec 21 equalised for Liverpool, although the Reds failed to take advantage after Gunners striker Emmanuel Adebayor was sent off with 27 minutes still to go at Emirates Stadium. Robin van Persie fired Arsenal ahead in the 24th minute at Emirates Stadium 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 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, which 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 39 points from 18 games. That means Chelsea, which has 37 from 17, can take over the league lead by winning at Everton on Monday. "We were always going to be in constant touch (with Benitez) and with technology being what it is, it was never going to be a problem," said Lee, who had messages
from Benitez continually relayed to him by his coaching staff.
"He was in total command today. He has been in a lot of pain this week, but that's his professionalism coming through." West Brom's Roman Bednar headed the winner in the third minute of injury time to ensure Man City stayed in 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 with a deflected backheel which 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 remains last with 15 points, one fewer than Blackburn, which beat Stoke 3-0 on Saturday. City, the Premier League's richest club after a buyout by an investment company from Abu Dhabi, has 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 January window.
Damien Duff scored a last-minute winner in Newcastle's 2-1 victory over Tottenham 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. Only minutes after entering the game, Duff swapped passes with Mark Viduka to score Newcastle's winner. The loss means that Spurs stay in 16th place.
In Saturday's games, Aston Villa moved up to third with a 1-0 victory at West Ham, Sunderland won 4-1 at Hull, Bolton edged Portsmouth 2-1 and Fulham outplayed Middlesbrough 3-0.
Defending champion Manchester United was away in Japan winning the Club World Cup on Sunday by beating Liga de Quito of Ecuador 1-0. Down in the lower leagues, Leeds fired manager Gary McAllister after a 3-1 loss at Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday that leaves the club five points short of the League One promotion playoffs.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)