posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 06:17 PM
Arsenal's Barclays Premiership title hopes were effectively ended when they crashed to a humiliating 4-2 defeat at home to Manchester United.
Patrick Vieira headed Arsenal in front after only eight fiery minutes but United hit back 10 minutes later when Wayne Rooney delicately laid the ball
to Ryan Giggs, whose first-time shot deflected off Ashley Cole and past Manuel Almunia. Arsenal restored their advantage when Thierry Henry brought
down Vieira's 50-yard pass and slipped it to the sprinting Dennis Bergkamp, who fired the ball through Roy Carroll's legs.
But Cristiano Ronaldo continued his recent goalscoring form with his third in five games, latching onto Giggs' incisive pass and slotting the ball
home at the far post. United then stole the lead four minutes later when Almunia was came out to Giggs and hesitated, allowing the Welshman to cross
for Ronaldo to tap into the empty net. United were reduced to 10 men when Mikael Silvestre was sent off after aiming a headbutt at Freddie Ljungberg
but the visitors held firm. Arsenal's nightmare got even worse when John O'Shea beat the offside trap and coolly chipped Almunia to wrap up a famous
Liverpool came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Charlton as Fernando Morientes scored his first goal since moving to Anfield. Shaun Bartlett put Alan
Curbishley's side ahead against the run of play but Liverpool battered Charlton incessantly until Morientes struck. And Charlton were heartbroken when
Liverpool's momentum helped them grab a winner, the impressive John Arne Riise finishing brilliantly.
West Brom were cruelly denied victory in the vital relegation clash with Crystal Palace when the 10-men Londoners equalised seconds from time to grab
a 2-2 draw. Palace were a man down after only 12 minutes, Gonzalo Sorondo shown a straight red after stopping Geoff Horsfield when he was clear on
goal. Hot-shot striker Andrew Johnson scored his 15th goal of the season as Palace took the initiative. Johnson - tipped for an England call-up - took
advantage of a mistake by former Birmingham team-mate Darren Purse, who left Gabor Kiraly's punt upfield and allowed Johnson to nip in and score. But
veteran Kevin Campbell restored parity before Robert Earnshaw scored a well-taken goal to fire the home side ahead, only for Palace to equalise in the
last minute when Aki Riihilahti bundled the ball home seconds before the end.
Tal Ben Haim and Kevin Davies snatched a late victory for Bolton as they beat Tottenham 3-1 at the Reebok. After a goalless first half, Bolton were
handed the lead when Erik Edman used his arm in the box and El-Hadji Diouf converted the penalty. Spurs got themselves level when substitute Jermain
Defoe scored, but were reduced to 10 men when a reckless challenge by Fredi Kanoute resulted in his second caution. And with four minutes remaining
Ben Haim headed Stelios Giannakopoulos' header past Paul Robinson. Davies then combined with Diouf to rub salt in Martin Jol's wounds.
Portsmouth bounced back from FA Cup disappointment with a 2-1 win at home to Middlesbrough. Malcolm Christie put Boro ahead but full-back Matthew
Taylor levelled matters, scoring five minutes before the break. And in the second half, a skilful run by Ricardo Fuller enabled him to square to
Aiyegbeni Yakubu, who did the business from a few yards out.