United close gap as Liverpool held | sports | Hindustan Times
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United close gap as Liverpool held

sports Updated: Sep 15, 2007 19:57 IST

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Manchester United closed in on their rivals at the top of the Premier League on Saturday as Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at Portsmouth.

United chalked up a third consecutive 1-0 win, at the expense of Everton, to move level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table, although Rafael Benitez's side remained ahead on goal difference and have a game in hand.

Sir Alex Ferguson's champions have struggled for form and goals over the first month of the season and they appeared to be heading for their third draw in six matches as Everton matched them for long periods at Goodison Park.

But with seven minutes left Nemanja Vidic got his head to a near post corner from new signing Nani to clinch all three points.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was back in the side after serving a three-match suspension for head-butting Portsmouth's Richard Hughes last month, marked his return by collecting a yellow card for diving.

Benitez's fears that, at the end of a gruelling international week, his players could struggle in a lunchtime kick-off at Portsmouth proved well-founded.

A lacklustre Liverpool rarely threatened and had Jose Reina to thank for their point, the Spanish goalkeeper saving a first-half penalty from Nigerian playmaker Nwankwo Kanu.