Mata stars for Man United

Football EPL: Gerrard sees red as Liverpool suffer 1-2 loss; Chelsea go six clear

Mata stars for Man United

Steven Gerrard's last game against Manchester United ended with an ignominious red card as Juan Mata's superb double condemned Liverpool to a 2-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.

In his final appearance against his club's eternal foes before leaving for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Liverpool captain Gerrard came on at half-time, only to be sent off after 43 seconds for a crude stamp on Ander Herrera, who had created Mata's 14th-minute opener.

Mata added a glorious, volleyed second goal and despite Daniel Sturridge's reply and Wayne Rooney seeing a late penalty saved, United held on to condemn Liverpool to a first league defeat since their 3-0 loss at Old Trafford in December's reverse fixture.

Liverpool's run of 13 games without defeat had given them an opportunity to knock United out of the Champions League places, but instead Louis van Gaal's side remain fourth, a healthy five points above their rivals with eight games of the season remaining.
Gerrard's moment of madness proved the game's major talking point, but there was no disguising United's superiority as they confirmed the return to form sparked by last weekend's 3-0 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur.

Visiting goalkeeper David de Gea had to slide out and foil Raheem Sterling early on, but it was United who took control, patiently stringing passes together in defence and probing for gaps in a Liverpool side who displayed uncharacteristic carelessness with the ball. Following a spell of possession, Herrera created the opener with a fine, piercing through ball to his Spanish compatriot Mata, who assuredly found the bottom-left corner with his weaker right foot.

It was not until 10 minutes before half-time that Liverpool created a chance of note, but when Jordan Henderson's superb right-wing cross was teed up for Adam Lallana by Sturridge, the former Southampton man could only shoot wide with De Gea rooted to the spot.

Chelsea go six clear

Chelsea regained their six-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table and took a step closer to the title thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Hull City.

Eden Hazard's thumping strike gave Chelsea the advantage inside the first two minutes and Diego Costa added a second before Hull responded in blistering fashion to score twice in 74 seconds through Ahmed Elmohamady and Abel Hernandez.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a fantastic treble-save to deny Hull in the second half and substitute Loic Remy restored the visitors' lead with a shot that squirmed under Hull stopper Allan McGregor.

Queens Park Rangers' hopes of Premier League survival were dealt a blow by 13th-placed Everton, who stole a 2-1 win at Loftus Road.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Manchester City  beat a 10-man West Bromwich Albion 3-0 while Arsenal stayed on their heels after a 2-1 victory against Newcastle United.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane celebrated his first senior England call up with a hat-trick as Spurs beat bottom side Leicester City 4-3.

Southampton stay above Spurs on goal difference after their 2-0 win against struggling Burnley. Crystal Palace came from a goal down to beat Stoke City 2-1, while Aston Villa's recent resurgence came to end with a 1-0 home defeat against Swansea City.

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