Man U?s title bid falters at St James? Park | india | Hindustan Times
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Man U?s title bid falters at St James? Park

india Updated: Jan 02, 2007 23:40 IST

Manchester United drew 2-2 at Newcastle on Monday, missing a chance to extend their lead at the top to nine points go nine points in the England's Premier League.

James Milner gave the Magpies a 33rd-minute lead with a 25-metre strike at St. James' Park, only for Paul Scholes to score twice either side of halftime for a 2-1 lead. David Edgar,  playing only his second game for Newcastle, salvaged a draw for the home side with a 30-metre right-footer from the left. The ball took a slight deflection off Scholes before going inside.

Nolberto Solano cleared a header from Cristiano Ronaldo off the line as United chased a winning goal.

Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard scored within two minutes as Liverpool scored three second-half goals to beat Bolton 3-0 and leapfrog the Wanderers into third spot. Dirk Kuyt scored the third goal. Kevin Doyle scored twice to lead Reading to a 6-0 mauling of struggling West Ham, Tottenham drew 1-1 at Portsmouth and Blackburn won 3-0 at Wigan. Middlesbrough beat Sheffield United 3-1, Manchester City edged Everton 2-1 and Fulham drew 0-0 with last-place Watford in other matches.

Liverpool took control at Anfield in the 61st minute when Crouch ended an 11-game scoreless streak in the league. Kuyt and Jermaine Pennant combined on the right to open up the Wanderers defence and Crouch finished with an acrobatic shot over his shoulder.

Two minutes later, Kuyt and Pennant again teamed up to provide another cross from the right and Gerrard arrived in the centre to volley into the net. Liverpool's third goal came with eight minutes to go, when Kuyt collected a pass from Luis Garcia and fired a low angled shot inside the far post.

After beating Manchester United in their first game under new manager Alan Curbishley, West Ham are winless in four games after a dire performance at Reading. The Royals were 5-0 ahead by the 53rd. Brynjar Gunnarsson and Stephen Hunt each scored their first Premier League goals, Hammers defender Anton Ferdinand headed into his own goal and Doyle and Leroy Lita also hit the target. Doyle completed the rout with a header from a corner.

Benjani Mwaruwari gave Portsmouth a 29th-minute lead against Spurs at Fratton Park, but Steed Malbranque pulled one back for the visitors in the 50th. Benni McCarthy took his season tally to 12 and scored his fourth goal in five games as Blackburn won comfortably at Wigan and climbed to 11th. That was after an own goal by Wigan striker Emile Heskey and a 58th-minute second by Matt Derbyshire.

Aiyegbeni Yakubu scored twice to give Boro victory over visiting Sheffield United while Georgios Samaras hit both Manchester City's goals against Everton. Fulham striker Heidar Helguson returned from suspension and had two goals disallowed against Watford at Craven Cottage.