Reds up to fourth as United cruise in first half

Liverpool went fourth in the Barclays Premier League thanks to a 1-0 victory over local rivals Everton at Anfield in today’s early kick-off.

The Reds had Greece defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos sent off for a poorly-timed challenge on Marouane Fellaini, although the Belgium midfielder was fortunate not to see red himself after going into the challenge with his stud’s raised.

Holland striker Dirk Kuyt got the only goal of the game as he headed in Steven Gerrard’s 55th-minute corner before Everton were also reduced to 10 men as Steven Pienaar was shown a second yellow card in injury time.

Manchester City, another side with Champions League aspirations, looked set to lose ground on their rivals as they trailed to a Jozy Altidore goal at Hull.

The USA international linked up well with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink before shooting into the corner of Shay Given’s net.

Manchester United looked set to go top of the table as they led Portsmouth 2-0 at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney headed in from close range from Darren Fletcher’s cross as the champions dominated, with Anthony Vanden Borre turning in Nani’s attempted cross just before half-time.

David Nugent marked the start of his second loan spell at Burnley with a goal to put the Clarets 1-0 up against fellow strugglers West Ham.

New signing Benni McCarthy went close to a goal on his Hammers debut but his goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Leon Cort.

The Portsmouth forward beautifully lofted Danny Fox’s long ball over Robert Green in the 14th minute at Turf Moor.

Sunderland’s 10-match streak without a win looked set to continue as they trailed at home to Wigan Athletic.

Mohamed Diame gave the visitors the lead at the Stadium of Light after blasting home when the hosts gave the ball away after 20 minutes.

Striker Kenwyne Jones went close to an equaliser for the Black Cats as his deflected shot hit the post.

Stoke led 1-0 at the break thanks to Danny Higginbotham’s eighth-minute strike at the Britannia Stadium against Blackburn.

The defender showed great technique to volley home after Rovers had failed to clear a corner before Franco Di Santo headed over the bar from close range for the visitors.

The clash between Bolton and Fulham at the Reebok Stadium was goalless.

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