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Liverpool subdues the Blues

LIVERPOOL beat 10-man Chelsea 2-0 on Sunday to cut Manchester United's Premier League lead to two points while Newcastle hit back to draw 1-1 with Sunderland.

Fernando Torres scored with an 89th minute glancing header and tapped in the second after a blunder by Ashley Cole after Chelsea had Frank Lampard sent off in the 60th minute at Anfield.

The victory enabled Liverpool to leapfrog Chelsea into second place behind Manchester United, which beat Everton 1-0 on Saturday and has a game in hand on both its rivals.

United now has 53 points from 23 games, Liverpool has 51 from 24 and Chelsea 48 from 24.

"It's true they were playing with 10 men but I think we were better through the whole game," said Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, who came under fire when the team slipped from first to third in the standings.

"It's always important to win, to score goals and to play well. We were in a fantastic position before and much better now. We have to keep going and have confidence in ourselves."

Lampard was sent off for a sliding, feet-first challenge on Xabi Alonso in a game littered with fouls. Referee Mike Riley also showed seven yellow cards, four to Liverpool, including captain Steven Gerrard for diving to try and get a free kick on the edge of the Chelsea area.

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said referee Riley was wrong to send Lampard off and hoped that the decision would be overturned.

"I want the referee to look at this on television and maybe change this card for Lampard," Scolari said. "When I look at it I see it as a foul by the other player. Maybe when he looks on TV he will change the red card, and we will have Lampard for the next game."

But Scolari accepted Liverpool was the better team on the day.

"Liverpool were better than us all game," the Brazilian said. "We need to look again, to try again, we have many games but we are behind two clubs. It is more difficult than before but we have to fight to the end."

A group of Kuwaiti businessmen were at Anfield with Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks as the American tries to attract new investors.

The party featured members of the Al-Kharafi family and a real estate executive, who the Hicks camp has been talking to about helping to fund a 60,000-seat replacement stadium for Anfield.

The Reds other co-owner, George Gillett Jr., was also at Anfield.


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