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Burnley beats Man United for 1st time in 41 years

BURNLEY beat Manchester United for the first time in 41 years with a stunning 1-0 victory over the English Premier League champions yesterday.

Liverpool bounced back from its loss at Tottenham on the opening weekend of the season by routing Stoke 4-0, while Spurs maintained its strong start by thrashing Hull 5-1 as Jermain Defoe scored a hat trick.

After a 33-year absence of topflight football at Turf Moor, Robbie Blake scored for Burnley in the 19th minute with a near post volley which flashed past goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Blake conceded a penalty before halftime after making a sliding tackle on Patrice Evra, but goalkeeper Brian Jensen made a flying save to keep out England midfielder Michael Carrick's spot kick.

Jensen then repelled United's threat throughout the second half to clinch Burnley's first victory since September 1968 over the Red Devils, who are bidding for a fourth straight title.

"We're disappointed and it wasn't a great performance by us," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "It was Burnley's night - so many things happened in their box I don't know how we didn't score.

"With the chances we had, we should have won."

Since Burnley was last in England's top division in 1975-76, the club had played United just three times. United had triumphed in each encounter - all in the League Cup - by a combined 9-0.

"Nobody gave us any sort of chance tonight," said Burnley manager Owen Coyle, whose side was beaten by Stoke on Saturday. "We scored a wonderful goal and are absolutely delighted."

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez made two changes from the side that lost 2-1 at Tottenham, with 18-year-old Daniel Ayala making his first start for the club in defense due to Martin Skrtel's injury and Yossi Benayoun replacing Ryan Babel.

The switches paid off inside four minutes with Fernando Torres scoring after Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard burst through on the right and pulled the ball back for the Spain striker to fire past Thomas Sorensen.

Glen Johnson, on his home debut at Anfield, hooked in the second a minute from halftime, Dirk Kuyt scored the third from Gerrard's pass, and David Ngog rounded off the 4-0 win in injury time.

"We have plenty of room for improvement, some players are still short of full fitness," Benitez said. "We are working hard to see if we can announce good new signings. We have enough money for now."

Liverpool's two draws with Stoke last season cost Benitez's side the Premier League title, which United took by four points.

At KC Stadium, Defoe and Wilson Palacios scored in the opening 14 minutes for Spurs.

But the visitors lost goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who injured himself stretching for a high ball and had to be replaced by Carlo Cudicini.

Hull manager Phil Brown was clearly alarmed by Tottenham's dominance and made an early change, replacing Daniel Cousin with playmaker Geovanni after 21 minutes.

Hull started to look brighter and grabbed a lifeline when Stephen Hunt floated in a cross but no Tottenham players reacted and the ball bounced into the net in the 25th.

Defoe restored the two-goal cushion on the stroke of halftime and, after Robbie Keane scored with a header, completed his hat trick in the 90th.

"I don't think, hand on heart, 5-1 flattered Tottenham tonight - they were fabulous," Brown said. "It's difficult to say to our boys to go out there and do what Spurs do because the gulf in class looks alarming."

Birmingham, which lost to Man United on Sunday, claimed its first points of the campaign with a 1-0 victory over Portsmouth.

James McFadden converted an injury-time penalty after England goalkeeper David James fouled Blues midfielder Sebastian Larsson.


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