Hernandez rescues Man U

Hernandez rescues Man U

Holders held by Liverpool as City go on top with 4-1 win over Villa

Manchester United shared the points and the taunts with bitter rivals Liverpool as Javier Hernandez's late header cancelled out Steven Gerrard's opener in a 1-1 draw on Saturday that put the brakes on the Premier League champions' title defence.

A goal apiece from Mario Balotelli, Andrew Johnson, Vincent Kompany and James Milner helped Manchester City take full advantage of United’s slip up, going top of the table with an authoritative 4-1 victory over Aston Villa at the City of Manchester stadium.

City now have 22 points from eight matches, two ahead of their Manchester neighbours.
Liverpool captain Gerrard marked his first start for seven months with a 68th-minute free kick that broke the deadlock in a game where the action on the pitch had until then failed to match the passion in the stands.

The goal prompted United to bring on all the firepower they had left on the bench, two of whom combined for the 81st-minute equaliser as Hernandez nodded in from a Nani corner to ensure a lively finale at a high tempo that was not there before.

The excitement until Gerrard's goal had been off the pitch, where a plane trailing a banner reading "Bonjour 19X" flew over Anfield before kickoff as United fans revelled in last year's 19th English league title, which broke Liverpool's record. The homemade posters and noisy chants were along the same lines, but the Liverpool faithful returned with jibes of their own, including flags depicting five European cups reading "That's what we call history" in a dig at their 5-3 advantage.

United barely tested Pepe Reina in the opening hour as Park Ji-sung and Phil Jones went wide with half-chances.

The game came to life when United centre back Rio Ferdinand tripped Charlie Adam just outside the area, and Gerrard, who has been out since March with a groin injury that needed surgery, stepped forward to take the kick.

His right-footed strike whizzed through the United wall between Danny Welbeck and Ryan Giggs and low into the net to trigger wild celebrations in the Kop and a double substitution for United with the arrival of Nani and Wayne Rooney. A few minutes later Hernandez came on for Jones and the Mexican goal poacher pulled one of his specials out of the bag. Nani's corner was flicked on by Welbeck and Hernandez arrived to head in his third league goal of the season.

Chelsea win

Chelsea, meanwhile, stayed in touch with the two Manchester clubs at the top with a 3-1 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge.
First-half goals from Daniel Sturridge and John Terry, plus another from Ramires after the break, sealed a first win in seven against Everton for the Blues. Apostolos Vellios came off the bench to put Everton on the board. The victory put them within a point of second-placed Man United and three of leaders City.

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