Man Utd goalless at Spurs
Manchester United had Rafael sent off in a goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur to regain top spot in the Premier League. The Brazilian defender was booked for a second time in the 74th minute after he caught the heels of Benoit Assou-Ekotto.sports Updated: Jan 17, 2011 01:37 IST
Manchester United had Rafael sent off in a goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur to regain top spot in the Premier League.
The Brazilian defender was booked for a second time in the 74th minute after he caught the heels of Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
But Tottenham were unable to take advantage of the extra man and United could go home satisfied with a point which put them ahead of rivals Manchester City on goal difference.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side stay unbeaten with 45 points from 21 games, with two matches in hand on City, while Arsenal - 3-0 winners at West Ham United Saturday - are on 43 from 22 games.
"It was a tough game, but they didn't create many chances against us and we should take credit for that," Ferguson said.
"We were a bit careless with the ball, but it's a good point and we can't complain. Our defenders were particularly good. I don't need to discuss the red card, you can see for yourself what happened."
Spurs stay fifth on 37 points, a point behind Chelsea.
"Both teams defended well, both sets of central defenders did their jobs and kept the strikers quiet," Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said.
"I thought we were marginally the better team and if anyone was going to score it would've been us. We gave it everything and it was an interesting game without being a classic."
Liverpool and Merseyside rivals Everton meanwhile shared four goals - one of three derby matches which also ended in draws.
Dirk Kuyt levelled from the penalty spot for Liverpool after Everton had come from behind at half-time with two quick goals at Anfield.
Kenny Dalglish's first home match in charge since replacing Roy Hodgson - and his first in the Anfield dug-out for 20 years - began well with Fernando Torres, making his 100th league appearance for Liverpool, striking the post in the 17th minute.
But Liverpool were rewarded when Raul Meireles smashed in a shot from outside the area in the 29th after Kuyt had seen a header and a shot saved by Tim Howard in goal.
Sylvain Distin on the far post headed Everton level within a minute of the restart and Jermaine Beckford struck a second in the 52nd as the visitors came back strongly.
But Kuyt kept his cool from the spot in the 68th minute to earn Liverpool a point after Howard bundled Maxi Rodriguez to the ground.
"After five minutes of the second half we were 2-1 down but the players' attitude and desire to get back in the game was really something. It was fantastic," Dalglish said.
"We could have been more than one up but we were really pleased with the way we played and that's great credit to the players who have had to adjust to the new ways of playing and training."
The result leaves Everton and Liverpool 12th and 13th respectively, both on 26 points, just four points off the relegation zone.
Asamoah Gyan scored a dramatic goal four minutes into injury time to give Sunderland a share of the points in a 1-1 draw with neighbours Newcastle United in a typically robust north-east derby.
Kevin Nolan's backheel seven minutes into the second half looked to have won it for the visitors but Gyan claimed the equalizing goal as the ball cannoned off him into the Sunderland net.
Birmingham drew 1-1 with Aston Villa, a result which leaves both sides just above the relegation zone.
James Collins scored the vital equalizing goal for Villa after Roger Johnson had volleyed Birmingham in front.