Liverpool beats Middlesbrough 2-0

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Fernando Morientes scored twice in five minutes Saturday to give Liverpool a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:48 IST
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Fernando Morientes scored twice in five minutes Saturday to give Liverpool a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough and lift it into second place in the Premier League. Liverpool is 12 points behind leader Chelsea, which beat Wigan 1-0 on a John Terry goal. Morientes scores At Anfield, Morientes scored in the 72nd and 77th minutes to earn Liverpool's seventh straight league win. Middlesbrough's Chris Riggott was sent off in the 85th for two yellow cards. The match was Liverpool's 10th straight clean sheet, equaling a club record set during the 1987-88 season. "We're improving all the time, there's still improvement to show - we want to win the league and we're not conceding goals which is a good base to start from," Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said. Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer saved a dipping header by Morientes after 22 minutes. Gerrard sent two first-half efforts wide and had another saved, while Mohamed Sissoko headed at Schwarzer from eight meters. Middlesbrough's best chance was Gareth Southgate's wide shot from long range. Ahead of Man U Liverpool moved one point ahead of Manchester United, which was eliminated from the Champions League on Wednesday – failing to make the knockout stage for the first time in 10 years. United plays Everton on Sunday. Arsenal fell further behind the leaders when it lost 1-0 to Newcastle – its second straight loss and fifth this season. Newcastle kept out strong efforts from Thierry Henry, and after Arsenal's Gilberto Silva was sent off for a second yellow card in the 57th, scored through Nolberto Solano with eight minutes to go. Chelsea leads Chelsea leads the standings with 43 points, followed by Liverpool with 31, and Manchester United. Tottenham and Bolton are tied with 27, one more than sixth-placed Arsenal. Chelsea was frustrated by Wigan's defense in the first half, with goalkeeper Michael Pollit saving Joe Cole's shot and Leighton Baines clearing Hernan Crespo's header off the line. Pollit also saved Frank Lampard's volley. "I thought we did all right but we've been done by a set-piece," Wigan manager Paul Jewell said. "We looked solid and they had to change their shape at halftime." Terry scored in the 67th, heading in a Lampard corner. "It was good enough to win, good enough to control the game, but not good enough in relation to the potential of my team," Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho said. "We didn't play well." Meanwhile, Paul Dickov scored twice in two second-half minutes, including a penalty, to help Blackburn rally to a 3-2 home win over West Ham. Hammers defender Danny Gabbidon hit an advertising hoarding and was carried off with a deep cut in his left leg before Bobby Zamora put the visitor ahead. Dickov made it 2-1 and Marlon Harewood drew West Ham level before Shefki Kuqi hit the winning goal in the 76th. Charlton breaks jinx Charlton broke a six-match losing streak, extending last-place Sunderland's losing run in the league to 10 matches. Darren Bent scored in the 42nd and Darren Ambrose in the 49th Bolton and Aston Villa each scored late in their 1-1 draw. Aston Villa took the lead in the 82nd through El-Hadji Diouf, but substitute Juan Pablo Angel scored the equalizer five minutes later. Diomansy Kamara and Kevin Campbell scored to give West Brom a 2-0 win over Manchester City. Manchester City's Andy Cole was sent off in the 86th minute for two yellow cards. Birmingham beat Fulham with a Nicky Butt goal in the 84th. On Monday, manager Harry Redknapp takes Portsmouth to Tottenham for his first game since rejoining from Southampton. In the Football League Championship, leader Reading beat Brighton 5-1, with second-place Sheffield United beating Burnley 3-0. Reading has 56 points, with Sheffield four points behind. (AP)

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