Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge tore Crystal Palace apart to send Liverpool top of the Premier League with a 3-1 victory on Saturday as Manchester City bounced back from their Bayern Munich mauling by beating Everton 3-1.
Suarez, making his first Anfield appearance of the season after
completing a suspension for biting an opponent, set Liverpool on their
way to their fifth league win with an early improvised finish.
England forward Sturridge, who has now scored or assisted 16 goals
in his last 11 league appearances, made it two with a fine solo goal and
Steven Gerrard added a penalty - his 99th league goal - before halftime
against struggling Palace.
In the early kickoff at the Etihad Stadium, Alvaro Negredo and
Sergio Aguero scored to help City come from behind to beat Everton,
easing the disappointment of their home defeat by Bayern in the
Champions League on Wednesday.
French striker Loic Remy gave Newcastle United's under-pressure
manager Alan Pardew some relief by netting twice in a 2-1 victory at
Fulham did the same for manager Martin Jol, edging past Stoke City
1-0 with Darren Bent's 83rd-minute winner, while Hull City and Aston
Villa played out a goalless draw at the KC Stadium.
Champions Manchester United will be aiming to avoid a third
successive league defeat when they face Sunderland in Saturday's late
Liverpool lead the way with 16 points, one ahead of Arsenal and
three in front of City and Tottenham Hotspur. Everton dropped to fifth
with 12 points.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea, who are sixth, all play on Sunday.
Suarez, who went on the pitch ahead of kickoff at Anfield cradling
his new-born son Benjamin, put Liverpool in front on 13 minutes,
receiving Jose Enrique's cutback and sliding home a finish despite lying
on the turf after losing his balance.
It was his second goal in as many games in the wake of his suspension for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last season.
Four minutes later Sturridge toyed with Palace defender Damien
Delaney before firing a shot across goal and past keeper Julian Speroni.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told the BBC: "(Suarez and
Sturridge) were exceptional today. Their combination play was
outstanding and they are right up there with the best in this league."
Gerrard converted from the spot in the 38th minute after Dean Moxey had held back Raheem Sterling.
Palace fans might have been fearing a repeat of their 9-0 defeat at
Anfield in 1989 but Victor Moses hit the post and the home side spurned
several other chances to increase manager Ian Holloway's troubles.
The travelling support even had something to cheer late on when Dwight Gayle nodded a 77th-minute consolation.
City manager Manuel Pelligrini showed faith in Joe Hart despite the England keeper's costly mistakes in the Bayern defeat.
Yet Hart tested his manager's patience again as City went one down after 16 minutes.
The keeper got a hand to Everton striker Romelu Lukaku's low
left-foot shot but it was not strong enough and the ball kicked up off
the surface and high into the net.
It took just a minute for City to find an equaliser, Yaya Toure
working an angle on the edge of the box to find Negredo's run and the
Spaniard slipping his shot beneath keeper Tim Howard.
The goal lifted City. Aguero wasted a simple chance from six metres but he made amends just before the interval.
David Silva fed the Argentine on the right of the area and the
striker worked a metre of space before shooting low past Howard into the
City got their third when Pablo Zabaleta was impeded by Seamus
Coleman and Howard tipped Aguero's penalty on to the post only for the
ball to bounce back, hit the keeper on the head and roll into the net
for an own goal.
Pellegrini told BT Sport: "Equalising immediately was important but
more important was the character of the team ... After the defeat on
Wednesday it was important for me to see how the players reacted."
Everton manager Roberto Martinez, contemplating his side's first
league defeat of the season, said: "I thought the penalty awarded is a
"(Referee) Jon Moss needs to watch it again and see why he gave it.
If you are going to give a penalty for that it is going to make the game
In Cardiff, two well-taken Remy strikes put Newcastle in control by halftime.
First he rifled home after collecting possession 40 metres out in
the 30th minute and eight minutes later Remy put away the rebound after
Papiss Cisse's shot had been saved.
But Pardew and Newcastle were left sweating on the three points
after Peter Odemwingie pulled one back for Cardiff on 58 minutes.
Bent's intervention at Craven Cottage - after Stoke had dominated
much of the contest - gave Fulham their first win at home since April
and lifted Jol's team out of the bottom three.