Premier League: Liverpool moves to 3rd spot

Liverpool moved up to third place in the Premier League on Sunday with a 4-0 win over Bolton.

updated: December 04, 2007 15:42 IST
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Liverpool moved up to third place in the Premier League on Sunday with a 4-0 win over Bolton.

Sami Hyypia, Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Ryan Babel scored at Anfield to maintain the Reds' unbeaten start to the league season and lift them above Manchester United in the standings.

Liverpool has now scored 21 goals in its past five matches and has 30 points, the same as United and Manchester City, who trail on goal difference. Chelsea is one point further ahead, while Arsenal leads with 36.

"The team is playing well," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said. "We are making plenty of chances and scored four, but it could have been many more.

"I must be pleased with form like this."

Benitez paired Torres and Peter Crouch up front for the first time and started with Harry Kewell on the wing, but it was central defender Hyypia who put Liverpool ahead in the 17th, scoring from Gerrard's free kick.

Crouch and Kewell had chances against a Bolton side that had not lost in its five previous matches under manager Gary Megson and was attacking through former Liverpool players Nicolas Anelka and El-Hadji Diouf.

Anelka had a clear chance in the 38th but shot wide from 12 meters (yards) with goalkeeper Pepe Reina already beaten, and Torres made it 2-0 just before halftime.

The Spain striker collected a long-range through ball from Gerrard and clipped it over goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen for his 12th goal of the season.

Gerrard scored a penalty kick in the 54th after Crouch had been fouled, and Reina saved a shot from Anelka before substitute Babel rounded off the scoring with six minutes remaining.

Manchester United, though, can move as high as second place Monday if it beats Fulham.

Birmingham won 3-2 at Tottenham to give former Scotland coach Alex McLeish a win in his first game as Blues manager.

Spurs striker Robbie Keane scored twice before being sent off as Tottenham conceded in injury time for the sixth match this season, this time to former Arsenal player Sebastian Larsson.

Tottenham coach Juande Ramos opted to play three strikers and his team dominated the first half with a string of corners, but the home defense was still shaky and Birmingham took the lead through a 24th-minute penalty kick.

Younes Kaboul was ruled to have tripped Gary McSheffrey in the area and the striker hit the resulting kick down the middle of the goal and past keeper Paul Robinson.

Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Darren Bent pressed the visitors, while Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale attacked down the wings, but Birmingham's defense, led by captain Liam Ridgewell, thwarted Spurs until the 50th.

Johan Djourou tripped Berbatov in the area and Keane scored the resulting penalty, before making it 2-1 three minutes later from Huddlestone's flicked pass over the defense.

Cameron Jerome equalized with a low shot after the home defense again folded under pressure and Keane was harshly sent off with 22 minutes left for a slightly late tackle.

Birmingham's Mikael Forssell shot over the bar from about six meters (yards) and Robinson saved from Oliver Kapo before Berbatov gave the ball away about 30 meters (yards) from goal.

Larsson got the ball and lashed a long-range shot into the top corner, giving Spurs its worst start to the season since 1976-77 - when it was relegated.

Birmingham moved up to 12th place with 14 points, two more than 16th-place Tottenham.