Benayoun's trickery pulls Liverpool past Wigan

Liverpool started Fernando Torres but needed substitute Benayoun to avoid third straight scoreless draw in the Premier League.

By
September 30, 2007 10:26
3 minute read.
Benayoun's trickery pulls Liverpool past Wigan

benayoun belarus 224.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Liverpool got its faltering title challenge back on track with a narrow 1-0 win against Wigan Athletic on Saturday, after Yossi Benayoun scored his first Premiership goal for the club. Liverpool started Fernando Torres after the Spain striker scored a hat trick in a midweek League Cup match, but needed substitute Yossi Benayoun to avoid a third straight scoreless draw in the Premier League. Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland had saved from Dirk Kuyt and Torres before the home side had a goal by Marcus Bent ruled out for offside. Benayoun then turned the Wigan defense inside out before hitting a low shot past Kirkland to earn the victory. Benjani Mwaruwari scored a hat trick to lead Portsmouth to a 7- 4 win over Reading in the highest scoring match in the Premier League's 15-year history. Arsenal won 1-0 at West Ham to keep the lead of the standings from defending champion Manchester United, which won 1-0 at Birmingham. At Fratton Park, Reading goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann made a string of saves but was still beaten seven times. Mwaruwari scored twice to put Portsmouth 2- 0 up before Andy Hunt and Dave Kitson brought Reading level at 2-2. Hermann Hreidarsson and Mwaruwari made it 4- 2 before Shane Long got a goal for Reading, but Niko Kranjcar, Sean Davis and Sulley Muntari, with a penalty, all scored in the last 15 minutes. Reading's Nicky Shorey completed the record tally with an injury-time deflected shot. There could have been a 12th goal, but Portsmouth goalkeeper David James saved a penalty. "I have never been involved in a game like that before," Reading manager Steve Coppell said. "It's hard to remember anything like that either as a player or a manager. "There were 11 goals in the game and there could have been more. There was no indication at halftime that it was going to explode into life like that." There have been several nine- goal matches in the Premier League, most notably Manchester United's 9- 0 win over Ipswich in 1995. While Portsmouth moved up to fifth place, Arsenal continued its unbeaten start with Robin Van Persie's fourth goal of the season keeping the Gunners ahead of Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool. Arsenal has 19 points, two more than defending champion Manchester United. Manchester City was a point further back after beating Newcastle 3-1, while Liverpool has 15 after a 1-0 win at Wigan. Chelsea slipped seven points behind Arsenal after a 0-0 draw against visiting Fulham that extended its winless streak to four league matches. Captain John Terry left the field with a broken cheekbone and striker Didier Drogba was sent off to complete a terrible day for the Blues. West Ham beat Arsenal twice last season to help it narrowly avoid relegation, but Arsenal was comfortable at Upton Park on Saturday and secured an eighth straight win in all competitions. "We had a bit of apprehension because we lost here last season and this was a big test," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. Emmanuel Adebayor shot just wide in the second minute from Abou Diaby's cross and, although West Ham's Dean Ashton shot just over the bar from 20 meters (yards), the Gunners ahead in the 13th. Adebayor passed wide to Aleksandr Hleb, who crossed to the far post for Netherlands striker Van Persie to head the ball past goalkeeper Robert Green. Birmingham Manchester United 1; Chelsea 0, Fulham 0; Derby 1, Bolton 1; Manchester City 3, Newcastle 1; Portsmouth 7, Reading 4; Sunderland 1, Blackburn 2; Wigan 0, Liverpool 1; West Ham 0, Arsenal 1. League Championship: Barnsley 1, Cardiff 1; Burnley 1, Crystal Palace 1; Colchester 0, Scunthorpe 1; Coventry 1, Charlton 1; Hull 3, Ipswich 1; Leicester 1, Stoke 1; Norwich 0, Sheffield Wednesday 1; Plymouth 1, Wolverhampton 1; Preston 0, Bristol City 0; Sheffield United 1, Southampton 2; Watford 1, Blackpool 1.

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