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Burnley singe United, Liverpool & Spurs win

sports Updated: Aug 21, 2009 00:45 IST

Hindustan Times
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Manchester United slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat Wednesday at newly promoted Burnley, while Liverpool got their season back on track with a 4-0 victory over Stoke City.

Tottenham Hotspur joined Chelsea as the only sides with two victories as they won 5-1 at Hull City.

Robbie Blake got the only goal at Turf Moor after 19 minutes, and though Michael Carrick later had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Brian Jensen, Burnley were well worth their win. “Nobody outwith the club gave us any kind of chance, but we know how hard we work, and we believed in our quality,” Burnley manager Owen Coyle said.

“I thought we offered an awful lot. We tried to move the ball quickly. We encourage them to be positive. They were brave, put themselves on the line. Our players went toe to toe and tried to pass it when we had it.”

It was Burnley who made most of the early running, and they got their reward as Patrice Evra's headed clearance fell for Blake, who rattled an angled volley past Ben Foster.

United were oddly disjointed, seemingly disconcerted by the ferocity of Burnley's onslaught.

In his first competitive start for the club, Michael Owen had a couple of chances seemed to have misplaced the clinical finishing of old. He took an air-shot at an Evra cross early on and then failed to get anything like the purchase he needed on a Rooney cross.

He faded badly after that, and there must be serious concerns as to whether he can still be effective at the highest level.

Two minutes from the break, United were handed a lifeline as Blake tripped Evra as he ran onto Owen's pass, but Jensen, diving to his right, parried Carrick's penalty.

United dominated possession after the break but rarely looked like making the breakthrough.

Whether Burnley can maintain a similar tempo for the rest of the season is doubtful, but in Turf Moor's first top-flight match in 33 years they could celebrate victory over the side who consigned them to relegation in their last season in what was then the First Division.

After Sunday's defeat to Tottenham, Liverpool desperately needed a victory against Stoke to prevent their title challenge being still-born, and they got it by the comfortable margin of 4-0.

“They continued with their game plan, but we were still attacking. The second goal changed things because they had to attack, and there was more space for us.”

Torres eased Liverpool nerves after just four minutes, converting Steven Gerrard's cross from eight yards out.

An acrobatic finish from full-back Glen Johnson, after Dirk Kuyt's initial header had been saved by Thomas Sorensen, gave them a second just before half-time. Second-half goals from Kuyt and David Ngog completed an easy win.

Tottenham cruised to a second victory of the season, winning 5-1 at Hull.