VIDEO: Below-par United beat Blackburn; 9-man Liverpool lose again at Fulham; Arsenal crush sloppy Spurs; Chelsea hit four at Bolton; Pompey finally win big

Manchester United 2 – Blackburn 0 (Premier League, October 31, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) After a goalless first half (highlights here) Dimitar Berbatov put Manchester United into the lead at home to Blackburn with another acrobatic effort, turning from an Evra pass and finishing smartly past Robinson. Wayne Rooney swept home the second from a cross by Anderson.

Fulham 3 - Liverpool 1 (Premier League, October 31, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Bobby Zamora tapped home a Duff cross to put Fulham ahead at home to Liverpool just after the twenty minute mark. Minutes before the break Fernando Torres showed his predatory skills once again with a fine volleyed finish from the edge of the box to bring Liverpool level. With just 18 minutes remaining Fulham re-took the lead when Erik Nevland finished from close range after good work by Konchesky and Gera. Liverpool’s comeback hopes were rocked when Philipp Degen and then Jamie Carragher were sent off and Clint Dempsey had the freedom of the Cottage to score Fulham’s third.

Bolton 0 – Chelsea 4 (Premier League, October 31, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Frank Lampard stroked home a penalty on the stroke of half time after Drogba had been fouled by Jlloyd Samuel who was subsequently sent off. Chelsea dominated the second half and on the hour Deco finished with aplomb for the second. Branislav Ivanovic and Didier Drogba ensured the Blues beat Bolton 4-0 for the second time in four days.

Arsenal 3 – Tottenham 0 (Premier League, October 31, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Arsenal had their first effort on target on the quarter hour as William Gallas narrowly missed with a header from a dangerous Van Persie free-kick. Heurelho Gomes then earned his Tottenham paycheck as the giant keeper needed every inch of his frame to shuffle across his line and one-handedly save Fabregas’ shot. After the Gunners had the lions’ share of the first half they made their possession count with two goals in two minutes. Bacary Sagna’s low cross from the right was converted by Robin van Persie into Gomes’ near post. And for the kick-off Spurs’ Palacios immediately lost the ball, inviting an incredible solo run from Cesc Fabregas that saw the Arsenal captain rip through their arch enemy for Arsenal’s second. (Both goals can be seen here.) (First half highlights here.) Just before the hour, after Bentley had forced a smart save from Almunia, Arsenal scored a killer and controversial third as ref Clattenberg allowed play to continue after Diaby was taken out by Bale, and from Sagna’s cross Gomes and King failed to stop Van Persie adding his second of the game.

Everton 1 – Aston Villa 1 (Premier League, October 31, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Diniyar Bilyaletdinov put Everton in front at the end of the first half, substitute John Carew equalised early in the second half before Bilyaletdinov was sent off late on.

Sunderland 2 – West Ham 2 (Premier League, October 31, 2009) Guillermo Franco and Carlton Cole put the Hammers into a two-goal lead in the first half, both goals set up by Jack Collison. Sunderland hit back with a cracking Andy Reid free-kick and despite the sending off of Kenwyne Jones they still found the equaliser through Kieran Richardson.

Portsmouth 4 – Wigan 0 (Premier League, October 31, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Pompey’s strikers finally got on the scoresheet in a league match. Aruna Dindane claimed a hat-trick and Frederic Piquionne scored the second.

Stoke 2 – Wolves 2 (Premier League, October 31, 2009) Wolves left back George Elokobi under pressure from James Beattie swept home the opener from an Etherington cross, Matthew Etherington volleyed home the second to put the Potters in charge. But a second half brace from substitute Jody Craddock gained a valuable oint for Wolves.

Burnley 2 – Hull 0 (Premier League, October 31, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Phil Brown’s position continues to look precarious as Burnley picked up another win at Turf Moor. The first came from Graham Alexander from the spot after a pretty poor decision and the veteran scored the second from long range. In between Geovanni saw red for dissent after he had scored a free-kick which was disallowed.

***

Millwall 2 – Colchester 1 (League One, October 31, 2009)  Anthony Wordsworth had opened the scoring for the visitors, but goals from Alan Dunne and an injury time strike from James Henry earned three points for the Lions.