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Liverpool go down at Sunderland

London: A moment of madness from Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Kasey Keller helped an unsettled Arsenal salvage a 1-1 draw in a frenetic north London derby at White Hart Lane on Sunday. Keller, the US international, brought down Thierry Henry inside the area on the stroke of halftime and Robert Pires converted the resulting penalty to cancel out Christian Ziege’s stunning opener for the home side.

The point shared restored the English champions’ outright lead of the Premier League with 36 points from 18 games, one more than second-placed Manchester United.

In another match, a shell-shocked Liverpool suffered their fifth defeat in six league games, going down 1-2 at struggling Sunderland.

Gavin McCann gave Sunderland a first half lead and, although his penalty miss on the hour was followed by a Milan Baros equaliser for Liverpool, striker Michael Proctor pounced for the home side’s winner five minutes from time. It was Sunderland’s first home league win over the Anfield club since 1958.

Birmingham City leapfrogged Fulham in the table after their 1-0 win at Loftus Road. Although defender Darren Purse was sent off after 70 minutes, the Blues held on to a lead given to them by US striker Jovan Kirovski.

At White Hart Lane, Spurs were left cursing missed chances as a famous victory went begging. Robbie Keane was culprit-in-chief. The Ireland striker had two efforts cleared off the line by Ashley Cole and two more strikes well saved by an inspired David Seaman.

Another defeat would have intensified Arsenal’s mini-crisis but, despite four losses already this term, Wenger is content with his club’s progress. “We’ve had three tough games in a week and I’m happy with the reaction of the players,” said Wenger. “I am satisfied with a draw today. ”

Ferguson pleased

A rampant Manchester United recorded a 3-0 win over West Ham United Saturday, while Chelsea’s hopes of going to the top were dashed by a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough.

United, whose title bid is very much under way after wins over Arsenal and Liverpool, dominated throughout at Old Trafford and also welcomed back David Beckham to League duty as a second half substitute after a month’s injury absence.

“A 3-0 scoreline’s very good — I’m pleased with that,” Alex Ferguson said. “We had to work for it....and we played some fantastic football at times. Veron’s goal was fantastic, we got a break with the third goal — the kind of break we weren’t getting a few weeks ago. ”

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