Newcastle draw 2-2 with Man United

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Manchester United drew 2-2 at Newcastle, missing the chance to go nine points clear at the top of England's Premier League.

Updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Manchester United drew 2-2 at Newcastle, missing the chance to go nine points clear at the top of England's Premier League. James Milner gave the Magpies a 33rd-minute lead on Monday with a 25-metre strike at St James' Park only forPaul Scholes to score twice either side of halftime for a 2-1 lead. David Edgar, a 19-year-old Canadian left-back playing only his second game for Newcastle, then salvaged a draw for the home side with a 30-metre right-footed shot from the left. The ball took a slight deflection off Scholes before going inside the far post. Nolberto Solano cleared a header from Cristiano Ronaldo off the line as United chased a winning goal. However, United was only able to increase its standings lead to seven points ahead of Chelsea's game at Aston Villa on Tuesday. Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard scored within two minutes and Liverpool scored three second-half goals to beat Bolton 3-0 to leapfrog Wanderers into third. Dirk Kuyt scored a late final goal to ensure Liverpool's ninth shutout in 10 games. Kevin Doyle scored twice to lead Reading to a 6-0 mauling of struggling West Ham; Tottenham drew 1-1 at Portsmouth; and Blackburn won 3-0 at Wigan. Middlesbrough beat Sheffield United 3-1; Manchester City edged Everton 2-1; and Fulham drew 0-0 with last-place Watford but lost goalkeeper Antti Niemi to a serious head injury. The Finn was carried from the field and taken to a hospital. Crouch ends scoreless streak After an hour of few thrills, Liverpool took control at Anfield in the 61st minute when Crouch ended an 11-game scoreless streak in the Premier League. Kuyt and Jermaine Pennant combined on the right to open up the Wanderers defence and Crouch finished the move with an acrobatic shot over his shoulder from 10 metres. Two minutes later, Kuyt and Pennant again teamed up to provide another cross from the right and Gerrard arrived in the centre to volley into the net with the inside of his boot. After those two strikes, Crouch missed two close-range chances and Bolton's Finland goalkeeper, Jussi Jaaskelainen, made a one-handed save to keep out a powerful header from Sami Hyypia. Liverpool's third goal came with eight minutes to go, when Kuyt collected a pass from Luis Garcia and fired a low angled shot inside the far post. After beating Manchester United in its first game under new manager Alan Curbishley, West Ham is now winless in four games after a dire performance at Reading. The Royals were 5-0 ahead by the 53rd. Brynjar Gunnarsson and Stephen Hunt each scored their first Premier League goals, Hammers defender Anton Ferdinand headed into his own goal, and Doyle and Leroy Lita also hit the target. Doyle completed the rout with a header from a corner. Benjani Mwaruwari gave Portsmouth a 29th-minute lead against Spurs at Fratton Park, but Steed Malbranque replied for the visitors in the 50th. Benni McCarthy took his season tally to 12 and scored his fourth goal in five games as Blackburn won comfortably at Wigan and climbed to 11th. That was after an own goal by Wigan striker Emile Heskey and a 58th-minute second by Matt Derbyshire. Yakub leads Boro Aiyegbeni Yakubu scored twice to give Boro victory over visiting Sheffield United, while Georgios Samaras hit both Manchester City's goals against Everton. Fulham striker Heidar Helguson returned from suspension and had two goals disallowed against Watford at Craven Cottage. However, Niemi's injury nine minutes into the second half overshadowed the action. Challenging for the ball with Liam Rosenior and Watford's Darius Henderson, Niemi landed on his head as he dropped to the turf. The game was held up for nine minutes as Niemi was placed in the recovery position and then carried from the field. "He's OK," Fulham manager Chris Coleman said. "He's gone off to hospital for some X-rays. It didn't look very good when we saw it. It could have been a lot worse." Coleman added that Niemi got a bit of damage to the neck but said he had feeling everywhere else in his body.

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